EXCLUSIVE: Producer Michael De Luca has teamed with Yoko Ono, The Theory Of Everything scribe Anthony McCarten and Josh Bratman on an untitled feature drama about the love story between Ono and Beatles icon John Lennon. McCarten will write the script and produce with Ono, De Luca Productions’ De Luca, and Immersive Pictures’ Bratman.
Ono and Lennon became a couple in the late ’60s, when she was an up-and-coming artist and he was one of the biggest music stars in the world. She became indelibly linked with Lennon as he transitioned from the Beatles breakup to a soaring solo career. Together they became provocative advocates for peace, and activism against the Vietnam War. After a brief separation in the mid-1970s, they again became constant companions until his 1980 murder in New York. She has since been the gatekeeper of his music and legacy.
“The story will focus on ripe and relevant themes of love, courage and activism in the U.S. – with the intention of inspiring today’s youth to stand up for and have a clear vision for the world they want,” said De Luca. “I am also honored and privileged to be working with Yoko Ono, Anthony McCarten and Josh Bratman to tell the story of two amazing global icons.”
De Luca, who with Jennifer Todd is producing the Academy Awards broadcast next month, has a strong track record of producing films on fact-based subjects, with Captain Phillips, Moneyball and The Social Network each nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. This gives McCarten another famous relationship to dissect, after he was Oscar-nominated for scripting the love story between Stephen and Jane Hawking in The Theory Of Everything. McCarten scripted and is producing the upcoming Winston Churchill film Darkest Hour, which Joe Wright will direct with Gary Oldman starring, and Bohemian Rhapsody, the Bryan Singer-directed drama that has Mr Robot’s Rami Malek starring as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.
Bratman worked as a production executive with De Luca for over a decade, before he founded Immersive Pictures in 2015. It was Bratman who lobbied Ono to bring the story of her relationship with Lennon to the screen. ICM Partners Bruce Kaufman of ICM Partners is handling the package.
Jonas Herbsman of Shukat, Arrow reps Ono; David Fox of Myman, Greenspan reps McCarten along with ICM Partners.