Ron Howard to make official Beatles documentary

The 'Rush' director is a lifelong fan of the Fab Four

Ron Howard is set to direct a Beatles documentary about the Fab Four’s glory days.

The US director, known for A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man and Rush, Howard will trace the band’s gigs from Liverpool clubs to the final 1966 performance in San Francisco.

Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison (representing late husbands John Lennon and George Harrison) are working alongside producers to make the film, which will be the band’s first since Let It Be in 1970.

“What’s so intriguing to me is not only the subject but the contest we can bring to it now,” said Howard.

“Not only can we do a study of these touring years, the narrative of an odyssey, we can look at the significance of the Beatles as individuals – as musical geniuses, as societal leaders and their effect on global culture.

“Dramatically it makes a lot of sense and cinematically, we have a chance to offer a unique experience.”


Footage never before seen by the public will be used for research, while producers have been asking collectors for “rare or unusual” visual and audio materials.

Between June 1964 and August 1966, The Beatles performed 166 shows in 15 countries and 90 cities worldwide.

Howard has huge admiration for the influential band. “My 10th birthday was all about me getting a Beatles wig,” he told Billboard. “While my knowledge isn’t encyclopaedic, I’m a lifelong fan and I’m fascinated by what they’ve meant.”

Producer Nigel Sinclair added that “there is something utterly exceptional about The Beatles beyond any other musical group”.

“I’m hoping, as we go on this journey together and piece together (the documentary), when it’s finished, you get an understanding of that,” he said.