Sam Mendes to Direct 4 Beatles Biopics, 1 on Each Bandmate

The British director Sam Mendes has signed on to direct not one but four biopics about the Beatles, each telling the story of the Fab Four from a different member’s point of view.

Apple Corps, the guardian of the Beatles’ musical interests, and Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the families of John Lennon and George Harrison have granted full life story and music rights for the scripted films — a first — which will be financed and released by Sony Pictures Entertainment. The films are planned for release in 2027.

“I’m honored to be telling the story of the greatest rock band of all time, and excited to challenge the notion of what constitutes a trip to the movies,” Mendes said in a statement on Tuesday. The announcement teased that the films would be released in an “innovative and groundbreaking” manner, but did not offer details.

In recent years Mendes, the Oscar-winning director of “American Beauty,” has helped refresh the James Bond franchise with “Skyfall” and told the story of two British lance corporals in World War I in “1917.” As a theater director, he showed an ability to work with complicated biographical material over a long stretch of time with “The Lehman Trilogy,” a saga about the rise and fall of Lehman Brothers that earned him a Tony Award.

Biopics about pop stars have grown popular in recent years: “Bob Marley: One Love” was on track to earn and estimated $33.2 million last weekend, following on the success of films including “Elvis” in 2022 and “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 2018.

The Beatles have shown strength with movie audiences since they starred in “A Hard Day’s Night” in 1964, playing versions of themselves. Their fans continue to show an appetite for expansive projects: Peter Jackson’s documentary series “The Beatles: Get Back,” an over-seven-hour project, was released to much acclaim in 2021 on Disney+.

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