Thursday, September 14, 2006

Dreamweaver: The Beatles

Welcome to the first edition of Dreamweaver. What is Dreamweaver, other than a kickass song by REO Speedwagon? It’s where I pitch an idea for a movie or television show. I’ll outline the plot, make some casting choices, and generally remark on how much of a genius I am.

There have been some great trilogies over the years: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Back to the Future, just to name a few. What if I added one more to that pantheon? What if that name was The Beatles? I just blew your mind, didn’t I? Because The Beatles’s story is so immense, three movies would be the best way to go conveying their story.

This trilogy would be a little different, in terms of timeline. The first movie would actually begin with The Beatles touching down in America for the first time in 1964. Imagine the movie opening up with archival footage from that day. The screaming girls all pushing against the fence on the tarmac at JFK, grainy, black and white footage. The film would then switch to color and real life after the plane lands and the door opens up and we see the Fab Four emerge. This first film would cover that moment, up until the final moments in the studio, recording Abby Road. You can cover John’s Jesus comment, The Beatles experiments with drugs, their Eastern philosophy days, all that. It would concentrate on the group and their dynamics, especially when outside influences like John’s divorce and his resulting relationship with Yoko Ono, Paul and Linda relationship and it’s strain on the group, George’s alienation from the rest of the group and Ringo, as well, Ringo. The movie would end with the door to the studio closing.

The two other movies would be a prequel and a sequel. The prequel would cover Paul and John’s first meeting, the inclusion of George (which would be in a fantastic scene, with the 3 of them riding on top of a bus with George playing a guitar), their time in Berlin with Stu Sutcliffe and Pete Best, their original bass player and drummer, Stu dying and Pete being kicked out, the introduction of Brian Epstein, their manager, and Ringo. Also covered would be their rise in England in the Cavern Club, and in the final scene, to link it up with the first movie, them boarding the plane to America. While there was a movie about this time period, called Backbeat, it only focused on the Beatles’ time in Berlin.

The sequel would cover everything from 1970 on. The release of Let It Be after the band had officially broken up, Paul with Wings, John with his protesting and withdrawal from the world for five years, George and his Concert for Bangladesh and Ringo with his acting and alcohol problems. The third movie would highlight how much they had grown apart, but yet still needed each other. There would be scenes with two of them recording a song, but never one scene with all four of them together. Near the end of the movie, John’s murder would be played out, with everyone’s reactions afterwards. The final scene would be the three remaining Beatles, getting together for the Beatles Anthology series in the 1990s, starting to reminisce about the old days, perhaps this would be archival footage as well.

So why three movies in the layout I described? LAthough I think there could be three very good movies made out of the Beatles’ complete story, I don’t know if the public can handle 3 movies. So, in the format I outline, you can release the meat and potatoes of their story, the movie that takes place from 1964 to 1970. You get a good movie and if it is successful, you have two more lined up.

Who would I cast in the movie? Mind you, these people don’t necessarily have to look like the figures. Martin Freeman (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Britian’s The Office) would be good in the role of Ringo, Hugh Laurie (House) would be good for John, Colin Firth (Bridget Jones’s Diary) as George, and in more most controversial casting, Jim Carrey as Paul McCartney. Why Jim Carrey? This is dramatic fair and he has shown me some brilliant flashes in The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind. This is more of an ensemble piece, so he doesn’t need to carry the movie. He has the outgoing personality of Paul and if he can have a convincing accent, I think he would be good in the role. And he is a big enough American name that the American public won’t feel like this is a “British film.”

While this is nothing more than a pipe dream, I do hope someday Hollywood makes a Beatles’s movie that covers their entire careers. You know a lot of Boomer Babies would go to see it, and with such recent successes as the Beatles “1” CD and the Jay-Z/Beatles mashup, “The Grey Album” a whole new generation knows about the Fab Four.


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