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.'”