John & Yoko’s Story Will Become a Movie

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Universal Pictures has optioned a new drama centering on the love story of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, it has been reported. The film, which has yet to be made, will be directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, whose previous credits include the films Dallas Buyers Club and Wild as well as the HBO programs Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects.

The film is being made with input from Ono, who has been working with the producers, Michael De Luca (The Social Network) and Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything), since last year. Ono will also co-produce, as will Josh Bratman and Nathan Ross.

Vallée is rewriting McCarten’s original script. (McCarten wrote the script for the current Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.)

Related: When John and Yoko helped Jerry Lewis

No stars have yet been cast. It is expected that original Lennon recordings will be used in the soundtrack. “We’ll have to make a deal for the music, but with Yoko producing with us, we’ll have access to the estate and the library of songs,” De Luca told Deadline Hollywood. “I’ve been listening to John’s songs forever, but as we developed the movie, I became aware of just how profound is the emotional impact of the music and their legacy is on me.”

“We are all huge Beatles fans, and this is a dream come true,” Ross said in the same Deadline Hollywood article. “There were inner and outer struggles John had, and family turmoil as a child, and things she had to endure before John’s tragic death. The thing we loved about the script was its stark honesty. You see so many biopic scripts where you can see that the cooperation of the subject’s family had something to do with the editorial, and that wasn’t the case here.”

Watch a video for the Beatles’ “The Ballad of John and Yoko”


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