United Artists via Everett Collection
The Beatles approached director Stanley Kubrick to make a film adaptation of The Lord Of The Rings novels back in their heyday, according to moviemaker Peter Jackson.
The Fab Four starred in five movies during their career, including A Hard Day's Night and Help! in the 1960s, and when they were considering their third film, the musicians went to Kubrick to discuss adapting J.R.R. Tolkien's books into a movie version but the author had not yet sold the rights.
Tolkien eventually released the book for film adaptation and Jackson brought the franchise to cinemas from 2001.
The director tells Deadline.com, "The Beatles once approached Stanley Kubrick to do The Lord Of The Rings. This was before Tolkien sold the rights. They approached him and he said no. I actually spoke about this with Paul McCartney. He confirmed it. I'd heard rumours that it was going to be their next film after Help. John Lennon was going to play Gollum. Paul was going to play Frodo. George Harrison was going to play Gandalf, and Ringo Starr was going to play Sam. And a lot of other people were going to play other roles."
"Paul was very gracious; he said, 'It was a good job we never made ours because then you wouldn't have made yours and it was great to see yours.' I said, 'It's the songs I feel badly about; you guys would have banged out a few good tunes for this. You were The Beatles, after all. It's a shame we missed out.'"
United Artists via Everett Collection
The Beatles' influence has touched every inch of modern pop music, leaving an indelible mark on film and television... which is pretty good for four working-class mop tops from Liverpool. Director Ron Howard will be the next to immortalize the band onscreen, in a new documentary that will explore the group's early years, when they still toured their music across the globe. Surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison will contribute to the feature, which will trace the band's humble beginnings at the Caven Club in Liverpool, their tours through Germany, all the way through the group's final public performance in San Francisco's Candlestick park. But before we get around to seeing Howard's tribute to the Beatles, we're inclined to look back upon some of the best musical contributions they made to movies and TV.
Bowling for ColumbineThe last half of the John Lennon-penned "Happiness Is a Warm Gun," which may or may not be about heroin, serves as the perfect soundtrack for Michael Moore's anti-gun manifesto Bowling for Columbine. It's used in a terrifying sequence that shows just how gun crazy some Americans are, and as the song ramps up, the sequence escalates to a violent and unnerving conclusion that still has us wincing all these years later.
"Baby, You're a Rich Man" in The Social NetworkWhat better way to end a biopic about one of the richest men in the universe than this cut from Magical Mystery Tour. It's so fitting, it's almost like it was made expressly to cap off David Fincher's tale of billion dollar grudges.
"You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" in HelpWe couldn't, in good faith, compile a list of the best Beatles moments in film and television without including a sequence from the Fab Four's own filmography. We chose "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" the film Help for sheer oddness of the sequence. Plus, it's just a great song in general.
"In My Life" in Little ManhattanThe best thing about the Beatles is how timeless their music is. "In My Life," a song about losing and gaining friendships through the slippage of time, is the perfect piece of music to accompany the story about a preteen losing his first love in modern day New York.
"A Little Help From My Friends" on The Wonder YearsJohn Cocker's throaty rendition of "A Little Help from My Friends" graces the title sequence of The Wonder Years, and it may be the best cover song ever recorded. It's even better than the original Beatles tune, and it just makes The Wonder Years a better show. Nowadays, we can't even look at Fred Savage without hearing Cocker's raspy croon blasting through our heads at full volume.
"Come Together" in A Bronx TaleIn a scene from Robert De Niro's directoral debut, a pair of Italian mafiosos rough up a couple of unruly bikers that stop into their bar while "Come Together" spills out of a jukebox. Thanks to the '60s aesthetic, the song is a perfect addition to the scene.
"Hey Jude" in The Royal TenenbaumsFilmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese are often celebrated for their use of pop music in film, but Wes Anderson's musical touches in his work are just as poignant. His use of a beautifully orchestrated version of "Hey Jude" in 2001's The Royal Tenanbaums is a perfect example of this.
"Twist and Shout" in Ferris Bueller's Day OffWe're still not sure if Ferris Bueller is really a wizard, or if it was just the power of music, but the teen somehow brings the entirety of downtown Chicago to a grinding halt for the musical number to end all musical numbers.
The house where George Harrison grew up is to go on sale at auction. The Beatles guitarist lived at the terraced property in Liverpool, England with his parents between 1949 and 1965, and the Fab Four are said to have written hits including Love Me Do there.
The building is now up for auction via Homes Bought Fast, and managing director David Coughlin tells Britain's Liverpool Echo newspaper, "We are overwhelmed by the interest surrounding this property. When we heard it was a Beatle's former house we implemented a lot of research which confirmed it was George's house - and we still couldn't believe it.
"It's part not only of Liverpool's history, but of the world of music, and there's something very special about being in the same place as the Beatles' once were."
John Lennon's childhood home in the same city was sold at auction in 2013 for $816,000 (£480,000), well above the $255,000 (£150,000) guidance price.
Love letters written by Ringo Starr have sold at auction for $26,000 (£16,250). The Beatles legend wrote the notes to a girlfriend named Doreen Speight in the 1960s when he was in his early 20s after meeting her at a Butlin's holiday camp in the U.K. before he became part of the Fab Four.
In one of the notes, Starr shares some exciting news with Speight after he was invited to join the band, writing, "I got a call asking would I join the Beatles. I said yes. I am doing very well with the new group."
Speight says of the letters, which were sold at Bonhams auction house in London on Wednesday (25Jun14), "He was Richard Starkey (Starr's real name) then and we spent the whole week together, having beach parties. Ringo would hold my hand. He was a real gentleman."
Animal rights activists have marked Sir Paul McCartney's upcoming birthday on Wednesday (18Jun14) by hitting the streets of his English hometown wearing masks of his face. The Beatles legend will turn 72 this week (beg16Jun14) and to honour the longtime vegetarian, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) members handed out meat-free snacks on the streets of Liverpool on Tuesday (17Jun14).
The campaigners wore masks of McCartney's face and carried placards featuring the slogan, "Give peas a chance - try vegan", in reference to the song Give Peace a Chance by the rocker's late bandmate John Lennon.
They marched in front of the city's famous The Cavern Club, where the Fab Four played in their early years.
PETA Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi says, "We're sure Paul will be delighted that we've chosen to honour his birthday by encouraging the public to give vegetarianism a try. Whether you're six or 64 or, in Paul's case, a very young 72, going vegetarian is a great way to help animals, your health and the environment."
McCartney will spend his birthday recovering from a virus which left him hospitalised last month (May14).
Sir Paul McCartney is teaming up with John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono to fight fracking. The former Beatles star and his Fab Four bandmate's wife have written an open letter to the British government demanding an immediate end to shale gas drilling projects in the U.K. Other stars who have also signed the note include model/actress Lily Cole, funnyman Russell Brand, and screen stars Helena Bonham Carter and Jude Law.
The letter, published by British newspaper The Times, reads, "The government's plans to introduce fracking will change the UK for ever... The government says that fracking is safe even though it is banned in several European countries and US states... This technology will not bring down fuel bills and it will not provide a jobs boom, but it has the potential to leave a damaging environmental legacy for future generations. "We urge the government to suspend fracking immediately while a genuinely independent, balanced and thorough public debate is held into the potential dangers this industry holds for the UK."
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea has matched a U.S. pop chart record set by the Beatles after taking her hit Fancy to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The hip-hop star also lands a spot at number two as a guest on Ariana Grande's Problem, making her the first artist since the Fab Four in 1964 to land the top two places on the chart with her first two Hot 100 hits.
The Beatles managed the feat with I Want to Hold Your Hand and She Loves You over 50 years ago, following their breakthrough appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Azalea also becomes only the 15th act to score a one-two punch at the top of the countdown in the same week, and just the third woman behind Mariah Carey in 2005 and Ashanti in 2002. She also becomes only the fourth solo female rapper ever to top the Hot 100 - Lauryn Hill, Lil' Kim and Ludacris' sidekick Shawnna previously landed at number one.
It's a great early birthday gift for Azalea, who turns 24 on 7 June (14). Her Fancy ends John Legend's reign at the top of the Hot 100 with All of Me. The ballad slips two spots to three on the new chart, while Pharrell Williams' Happy and DJ Snake and Lil Jon's Turn Down for What round out the top five.
Meanwhile, Coldplay have stormed to the top of the U.S. album charts with the biggest first-week sales of 2014. Their new release, Ghost Stories, sold 383,000 copies to become the band's fourth Billboard 200 number one. It's also the first release to top 300,000 sales in a week this year. Country star Brantley Gilbert's Just As I Am debuts at two with impressive first-week sales of 211,000, and Michael Jackson's posthumous release Xscape slides a spot to three. Former number ones the Frozen soundtrack and the Black Keys' Turn Blue round out the new top five.
Sir Paul McCartney has axed his remaining Japanese tour dates after falling ill with a virus. The Beatles legend pulled out of shows on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (17-19May14) after contracting the mystery illness and now his Japan promoter has confirmed that more concerts have been cancelled.
The two newly scrapped shows include Wednesday's (21May14) gig at Nippon Budokan hall in Tokyo - set to take place 48 years after the Fab Four graced the same stage there in 1966. The other performance was due to take place at Yanmar Stadium Nagai in Osaka on Thursday (22May14).
Organiser Kyodo Tokyo says in a statement that McCartney "will regrettably have to cancel the remaining Japanese shows. Paul is still not feeling better and this cancellation is unavoidable".
He is still slated to take to the stage in Seoul, South Korea on 28 May (14).
A guitar used by George Harrison at the height of Beatlemania has sold for $657,000 (£410,000) at auction. The 1962 Rickenbacker 425 was used by the Fab Four star during recording sessions for I Want to Hold Your Hand and This Boy, and he also played it during an appearance on U.K. TV pop show Ready Steady Go! in 1963.
It fetched $657,000 during a Julien's Auctions sale in New York on Saturday (17May14).
A Hofner bass guitar used by Harrison's Beatles bandmate Sir Paul McCartney in the mid-1960s sold for $125,000 (£78,000) at the auction, and a jumpsuit sported by Elvis Presley at a 1971 concert fetched $197,000 (£123,000).
Sir Paul McCartney had to scrap a second concert in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday (18May14) after failing to overcome a virus. The former Beatles star was struck down with the mystery illness on Friday (16May14), prompting him to pull out of the first show of his Japanese mini-tour on Saturday (17May14).
He had hoped to be well enough to return to the stage on Sunday and make it up to fans of the Saturday gig by adding a new date for Monday (19May14), but both performances had to be axed completely as he remained unwell.
Reaching out to devotees online on Sunday, McCartney wrote, "Unfortunately my condition has not improved overnight. I was really hoping that I'd be feeling better today. I'm so disappointed and sorry to be letting my fans down."
The rocker's representatives are hoping to stage the shows at a later date and have advised fans to hold on to their tickets.
However, the 71 year old remains positive he will bounce back from the ailment in time for Wednesday (21May14), when he is due to perform at the Nippon Budokan hall in Tokyo - 48 years after the Fab Four graced the same stage there in 1966.