Paul McCartney Documentary, ‘Man On the Run,’ on Post-Beatles ’70s Era, Due

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Linda McCartney and Paul McCartney (Photo © Paul McCartney, by Linda McCartney)

A new feature length documentary that explores Paul McCartney’s life and career in the 1970s, following the breakup of The Beatles, has been announced. Man On the Run (working title), from McCartney’s MPL, Polygram Entertainment, and Tremelo Productions, will be directed by Oscar- and Grammy Award-winner Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom, Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, Won’t You Be My Neighbor). The film traces how the love he shared with Linda McCartney influenced a journey that would lead to the formation of Wings. (That era is covered in the acclaimed 2022 book, McCartney Legacy Volume 1: 1969-73, from authors Allan Kozinn and Adrian Sinclair.) No timetable was shared for the film’s release.

From the Feb. 4, 2023, announcement: The film draws on unprecedented access to a never-before-seen archive of Paul and Linda’s home videos and photos, as well as new interviews. Man on the Run begins with McCartney navigating the aftermath of the break-up of The Beatles, facing down myriad challenges while creating new music as a solo artist and with Wings.

The documentary chronicles the arc of McCartney’s solo career: From the one-man-band lo-fi recording prototype of his self-titled solo debut, to the pastoral bliss of Ram, to the formation of Wings and its classic albums including Band On the Run, Venus and Mars, At the Speed of Sound, the triple-live LP, Wings Over America, London Town and more. The result is an intimate and personal behind the scenes account of how Paul progressed from The Beatles’ 1966 retirement from live concerts to the Wings tours that would set the standard for 1970s arena rock shows.

Man On the Run documents McCartney’s emergence from the dissolution of the world’s biggest band, and his triumphant creation of a second decade of musical milestones—a brilliant and prolific stretch that gave us “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “Another Day,” “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” “Hi, Hi, Hi,” “My Love,” “Live And Let Die,” “Band On the Run,” “Jet,” “Junior’s Farm,” “Listen to What the Man Said,” “Silly Love Songs,” “Let ‘Em In,” “Mull of Kintyre,” “With A Little Luck,” “Goodnight Tonight,” and so many more.

In the announcement, the director, Neville said, “As a lifelong obsessive of all things McCartney, I’ve always felt that the 1970s were the great under-examined part of his story. I’m thrilled to have the chance to explore and reappraise this crucial moment in a great artist’s life and work.”

Neville’s acclaimed film, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, a documentary about Fred Rogers, was released in 2018 and has become one of the highest-grossing documentaries of all time. His 2013 film, 20 Feet From Stardom, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Music Film. His most recent film, Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, premiered theatrically in 2021, and was the highest grossing documentary of the year. Other films include the Emmy-winning Best of Enemies, about the debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, and Keith Richards: Under the Influence.

Related: McCartney also has a new book coming in 2023

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