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The Beatles biopics: Who are rumoured to be the Fab Four on screen?

The Beatles biopics: Who are rumoured to be the Fab Four on screen?
The Beatles biopics: Who are rumoured to be the Fab Four on screen? Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By David Mouriquand
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Sam Mendes’ four Beatles biopics have reportedly got a cast. It looks mighty promising. However, the rumoured casting is not to everyone’s liking...

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We all knew casting announcements were bound to happen, since it was announced earlier this year that Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes (Skyfall, 1917) was teaming up with Sony and Apple Corps Ltd. to make four different Beatles biopics.  

Each biopic will focus on the individual members of the famous British band, and they’ll all supposedly open theatrically in 2027.  

Now, there have been unconfirmed but widely spread reports that the cast of this upcoming BCU (Beatles Cinematic Universe) has apparently come together.  

If rumours are to be believed, the Fab Four casting goes like this:  

Paul McCartney will be played by Paul Mescal

Paul Mescal = Paul McCartney?
Paul Mescal = Paul McCartney?Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP - AP Photo/Robert Dear

The star of Normal People, Aftersun and the upcoming Gladiator II will reportedly play Paul McCartney. The Irish actor is a hot commodity in Hollywood at the moment, so a big name like his feels fitting for the role. Plus the casting makes a strange bit of physical sense, with Mescal’s boyish charms feeling like a decent fit for McCartney.  

John Lennon will be played by Harris Dickinson

Harris Dickinson = John Lennon?
Harris Dickinson = John Lennon?Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP - AP Photo

The British actor who recently appeared in Triangle Of Sadness and The Iron Claw will apparently play John Lennon. He’s also set to appear in Steve McQueen’s forthcoming World War II film Blitz – which is rumoured to be heading to this year’s Venice Film festival. We can’t see the physical resemblance between Dickinson as Lennon, but he’s got the acting chops. 

Ringo Starr will be played by Barry Keoghan

Barry Keoghan = Ringo Starr?
Barry Keoghan = Ringo Starr?Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP - AP Photo

Another Irish actor and one who is, like Mescal, one of the rising stars of the last few years, with roles in The Banshees of Inisherin, Saltburn and Andrea Arnold’s Cannes-premiering film Bird. He seems like the most inspired casting decision, with his unique presence feeling like he could bring so much to Ringo’s underappreciated status.  

George Harrison will be played by Charlie Rowe

Charlie Rowe = George Harrison?
Charlie Rowe = George Harrison?AP Photo

Rowe’s most high-profile role to date has been as music publisher Ray Williams in the Elton John biopic Rocketman, and he’s also been in the TV show Slow Horses. This makes some sense, as Harrison was “The Quiet Beatle” and a lesser-known actor is a cany casting coup.

Nothing has yet been confirmed or denied, and there’s no doubt that casting The Beatles – four of the most iconic musicians in history - is a tricky endeavour. Whoever is chosen faces not only the challenge of embodying the complex personalities of each band member, but also gets lumped with their legendary status – as well as the expectations of purist fans. There’s also the fact that Mendes’ ambitious project, which will see each film told from the perspective of each band member before intersecting to “tell the story of the greatest band in history”, marks the first time Apple Corps Ltd. and The Beatles have granted full life story and music rights for a scripted film. 

No pressure then.  

But the immediate reaction to this rumoured casting has not gone down too well, with the main online gripe being that the casting is too on-the-nose, in the sense that it feels like the line-up could have been decided by social media users. A sort of predictable fan wet dream, if you will.  

Many are also bemoaning that unknown actors would have been a wiser decision.  

A Beatles fan commented online that the films "could have been a great opportunity to cast four young, working class British actors but alas we are stuck in the twitter school of casting." 

"Nothing against any of these actors they're all talented but why does Hollywood refuse to cast unknown up-and-coming actors for these types of biopics," a fan asked. 

Another user, who had previously joked that if the casting "was up to Twitter" Mescal and Dickinson would be in the film, apologised for speaking it into existence. 

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One joked: "Based on this source I imagine Syndey Sweeney is playing Yoko as well?" 

There’s no pleasing everyone, and you can bet that there’ll be plenty of ink spilled once the cast list is made official. Whether it’s the lack of physical resemblance, height, voice... It’ll be a much-debated issue.  

But at the end of the day, judgement should be reserved until we see how the actors bring these roles to life. Just let it be, and all that.

So, what do you think of the potential casting, and who would be your ideal picks to play The Beatles?  

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Sam Mendes’ daunting four-part film event is expected to start production in 2025 and be released throughout 2027.

Additional sources • The InSneider, Vogue

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