Ron Howard to Direct a Beatles Documentary That's Backed By Paul & Ringo, Which Is a Huge Deal

This seems like a strange combination at first glance, but when it comes to anything The Beatles-related, I'm hopeful — maybe too much so. According to Indiewire , Ron Howard will direct a The Beatles documentary that focuses on their early touring years and has the full support of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon, and Olivia Harrison. Yep, you read all of that right: This is an authorized documentary on The Beatles that is going to be directed by Ron Howard.

While Howard isn't exactly known for his documentaries, he did win an Oscar for directing A Beautiful Mind, and he was behind the recently released Made In America documentary that followed Jay Z as he organized the "Budweiser Made in America" festival — so, y'know, he's not that crazy of a pick. Also, he's in good company: According to USA Today , Howard will be joined by his long-time collaborator Brian Grazer, as well as White Horse Pictures' Nigel Sinclair (who, as Indiewire points out, co-produced Martin Scorsese's George Harrison: Living in the Material World) and The Beatles' Apple Corps Ltd.

In a statement, Howard said he is "excited and honored to be working with Apple and the White Horse team on this astounding story of these four young men who stormed the world in 1964. Their impact on popular culture and the human experience cannot be exaggerated." You can say that again.

This is a pretty huge deal for a number of reasons: It's going to follow, in detail (according to the press release), "The Beatles’ journey from the early days of the Cavern Club in Liverpool and engagements in Hamburg to their last public concert in Candlestick Park, San Francisco, in 1966," and it's authorized. Authorization means credibility, and credibility means that it's going to include tons of unseen footage and material from sources that wouldn't otherwise supply it if the documentary wasn't backed by those associated with the band. As Deadline points out:

The cooperation of the band’s members and estates give the film another undeniable benefit. Already, collectors are coming out of the woodwork with footage and soundboards of concerts, and the film will go heavy on performances that were previously unseen by most people.

So yeah — it's a big deal.

No word yet on when to exactly expect this to be released, but it should be sometime late next year.

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