Skip to main content

Ron Howard to direct Beatles concert documentary

By Todd Leopold, CNN
updated 7:52 AM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
The Beatles have a pillow fight at a hotel in Paris in 1964. Harry Benson, the photographer who traveled with the band, shared these photos from his personal collection. The Beatles have a pillow fight at a hotel in Paris in 1964. Harry Benson, the photographer who traveled with the band, shared these photos from his personal collection.
HIDE CAPTION
Behind-the-scenes photos of the Beatles
Behind-the-scenes photos of the Beatles
Behind-the-scenes photos of the Beatles
Behind-the-scenes photos of the Beatles
Behind-the-scenes photos of the Beatles
Behind-the-scenes photos of the Beatles
Behind-the-scenes photos of the Beatles
Behind-the-scenes photos of the Beatles
Behind-the-scenes photos of the Beatles
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Beatles documentary to be directed by Ron Howard
  • Film will focus on group's touring years
  • Beatles tours were manifestations of Beatlemania, with screaming and craziness

(CNN) -- Time to scream for Beatlemania again.

Apple Corps, the Beatles' business organization, and director Ron Howard are teaming up for a documentary on the Fab Four's touring years, according to a statement released by the principals.

Are these songs British or American?
Beatles photographer shares iconic pics
Ringo Starr and the British Invasion

The film will chronicle the rise of Beatlemania, which coincided with the group's relentless touring of England, continental Europe, North America and parts of Asia from 1964 to 1966 -- a punishing schedule of frantic audiences, challenging security and occasional political difficulties that eventually prompted the group to withdraw to the studio, with small exceptions, until its 1970 breakup.

Among the group's trailblazing concerts were the New York Shea Stadium shows in 1965 and 1966, a performance at Tokyo's Nippon Budokan in 1966 and a show at San Francisco's Candlestick Park in 1966 -- the group's final American concert.

The tours weren't without problems. On a 1966 stop in the Philippines, the Beatles skipped an invitation to a breakfast hosted by first lady Imelda Marcos and were accused of snubbing her. In response, the group's police protection was pulled and the group's entourage was attacked at the airport.

Later that year, while touring America, John Lennon's comments about the group being "more popular than Jesus" set off record burnings and protests in some cities.

"The way the Beatles burst onto the scene in Britain was an overwhelming social, cultural and musical phenomenon, but was even then eclipsed by that extraordinary explosion on the American scene and then the world," said producer Nigel Sinclair of White Horse Pictures, which is co-producing the film, in the statement. Sinclair's credits include the documentary "George Harrison: Living in the Material World."

The production team also includes Imagine Entertainment, Howard's producing shingle. Howard, one of Hollywood's most successful directors, won an Oscar for directing 2001's "A Beautiful Mind."

5 things to know about Beatlemania

The best summer movie ever

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:20 AM EST, Fri January 31, 2014
When the Beatles landed in the U.S., they earned an unequaled fan dedication and a place in American cultural DNA.
updated 6:52 AM EST, Thu January 30, 2014
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will accept the Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award, 50 years after landing in the U.S.
updated 3:43 PM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Here are five things you need to know to understand Beatlemania and the significance of The Beatles' performance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" 50 years ago.
updated 2:01 PM EST, Tue January 28, 2014
Ben Fong-Torres formerly of Rolling Stone magazine tells CNN's Piers Morgan why The Beatles made it in America.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
For Rebecca James, the onset of "Beatlemania" meant one thing: a lot of waiting.
updated 10:29 AM EST, Fri January 31, 2014
Images of The Beatles first trip to the United States, 50 years later.
updated 9:27 AM EDT, Mon March 31, 2014
Penn Jillette explains how a bootleg Beatles record that the band never wanted released changed his life.
updated 10:34 AM EST, Mon January 27, 2014
On the red carpet at the Grammy Awards, the Beatles' very own Ringo Starr gives a shout-out to our Wolf Blitzer.
updated 4:17 PM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
A gallery of some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the legendary Fab Four.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Fri January 24, 2014
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the two surviving members of the Beatles, will get back together to play the star-studded "The Night That Changed America: A Grammys Salute to The Beatles," Starr said Monday.
updated 6:07 PM EST, Tue December 17, 2013
VH1's Jim Shearer examines the possible reasons behind the release and tells us what to expect next.
updated 9:19 AM EST, Fri January 31, 2014
Facts and key dates about the life of Ringo Starr, British musician and founding member of The Beatles.
updated 1:42 PM EST, Mon January 27, 2014
Images of Paul McCartney, a founding member of The Beatles and considered to be the "most successful composer and recording artist of all time."
updated 8:52 AM EST, Fri January 31, 2014
Key dates and facts about the life of musician Paul McCartney.
ADVERTISEMENT