Yesterday, a very strange movie about The Beatles, was released two weeks ago, and rather than focus on the lives of the Fab Four themselves, the film was set in a world in which a young struggling musician gets hit by a bus during a worldwide blackout and wakes up as the only person on Earth who remembers the Beatles or their music.
There have been quite a few Beatles movies over the years. There were the ones they made themselves (A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, and Yellow Submarine.) There were the documentaries about them (Let It Be – soon to get a McCartney-approved update), and later films about small chunks of Beatles history like Nowhere Boy, Backbeat, and Two Of Us. And of course, there was the TV documentary The Beatles Anthology, in the 1990s.
…nor will there be any of that Straight Outta Compton/Bohemian Rhapsody stuff where the surviving band members who are involved with producing the movie use it to settle scores…
As usual with this type of exercise: These are all set in a hypothetical universe in which money, musical rights, and approval of the surviving Beatles and their estates is no object, nor will there be any of that Straight Outta Compton/Bohemian Rhapsody stuff where the surviving band members who are involved with producing the movie use it to settle scores with their disassociated and/or deceased collaborators.
The Complete Story
Perhaps what I’d most like to see is for the telling of the Beatles’ story to go The People vs. O.J. Simpson route: A ten-part dramatic series, covering the Beatles’ entire story, from their formation in 1962 to their breakup in 1970, as the visual palate, clothes, and haircuts subtly change as the ’60s progress, much like on Mad Men.
The Ballad of John and Yoko
How about a revisionist take on John and Yoko’s love affair, one that goes against the general understanding that it was Yoko who broke up the Beatles? This one could go from their meeting all the way up through Lennon’s death in 1980.
The Quiet Beatle
An entire movie about Harrison could be fascinating; always unheralded, but the man responsible for some of the group’s best songs, as well as the best solo album (All Things Must Pass) of any of the Fab Four.
The Let It Be Sessions
This one could be redundant with the upcoming documentary, but how about a film in which we see the Beatles recording what ended up being their final album. The surviving Beatles aren’t likely to entertain the idea of a cinematic retelling of their dissolution – and McCartney is already trying to release a more positive version of Let It Be – but tell me you wouldn’t see this.
…McCartney is already trying to release a more positive version of Let It Be …
John Lennon at 70
In 2010, on what would’ve been John Lennon’s 70th birthday, music journalist David Kemp wrote a piece of historical fiction on what it would have been like if Lennon had survived the assassination attempt in 1980 and continued to live for the next three decades. We learn of a disastrous Beatles reunion in the late 1980s, Lennon’s turn towards Reaganism, and eventually his settling of differences with both McCartney and Yoko. Such a movie is probably impossible but it would certainly handle the idea of an elderly John Lennon better than Yesterday did.
The Pete Best Story
Best was the Beatles’ original drummer, before he was fired in 1962. A story about his reaction to his former bandmates’ worldwide fame would be fascinating, especially since he has by all accounts lived a happy life and is still going at age 77.