I saw this recently on ScreenRant – The Beatles’ Lord of the Rings Movie Explained (& Why It Never Happened): http://The Beatles’ Lord of the Rings Movie Explained (& Why It Never Happened). Much longer article, but here’s a brief overview.
Long before Peter Jackson, The Beatles were interested in bringing Lord of the Rings to the big screen. What was planned, and why didn’t it happen?
By CRAIG ELVY MAR 28, 2020The Beatles’ Lord of the Rings Movie Explained (& Why It Never Happened)
There’s a popular urban myth that The Beatles once hoped to make their own The Lord of the Rings movie – what was actually going on, and why didn’t it happen? In 2020, The Lord of the Rings on film is entirely associated with the work of Peter Jackson, who first adapted J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous trilogy and then went back to work on The Hobbit. An incomplete animated Lord of the Rings film directed by Ralph Bakshi was released in 1978 to some success, but this has largely been eclipsed by the live-action blockbusters. However, a very different Lord of the Rings movie almost saw the light of day thanks to 1960s music phenomenon, The Beatles.
This concept isn’t actually as strange as it sounds. In decades past, it wasn’t unusual for wildly popular music artists to have a strong presence in movie theaters. Despite being predominantly known as the King of Pop, Elvis Presley carved out a considerable acting career and bands such as Pink Floyd and The Who released feature-length movies based entirely around their music. The Beatles themselves enjoyed a string of cinematic hits such as Help! and A Hard Days Night. As such, the idea of The Beatles adapting Tolkien perhaps wasn’t outlandish was it would be today.
The Beatles‘ interest in adapting The Lord of the Rings came from Denis O’Dell, who had helped produce the band’s previous big screen musical efforts. With one more film left on The Beatles’ contract with United Artists, O’Dell thought his Fab Four would be ideally suited to the work of Tolkien, and that Frodo’s tale could be turned into a live-action adventure starring the band. Of course, the film would’ve been a musical, featuring new tunes from John, Paul, George and Ringo. After hearing O’Dell’s idea, The Beatles themselves were keen on pressing ahead, having been fans of the original books.