How Paul McCartney Reacted to a Flop Beatles Musical

by Jeremy Spirogis
Paul McCartney with a magazine

In 2007, the world noticed Beatles songs, quite a lot of celebrities, and lots of 1960s tradition references come collectively in a single formidable musical: Across the Universe. The public rejected it. This raises an fascinating query: How did Paul McCartney react to this musical?

Paul McCartney with a magazine
Paul McCartney | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

A fairly unusual movie with the music of The Beatles

Firstly, some background. Ever because the Fab Four broke up, quite a lot of filmmakers have made motion pictures centered on their music. Sometimes, these movies have been modestly profitable, like 2019’s Yesterday. Others have fared far worse, like Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a musical fantasy starring the Bee Gees. Across the Universe is among the many most well-known movies centered round The Beatles’ music — and one of the formidable.

Across the Universe doesn’t simply attempt to seize The Beatles, it tries to seize the 1960s of their entirety. It consists of references to Jimi Hendrix, the Vietnam War, the civil rights motion, Janis Joplin, Timothy McVeigh, and the sexual revolution. In addition, a lot of the movie is deliberately surreal and off-kilter, from a bunch of nurses singing “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” to an Uncle Sam poster singing “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).” Apparently, this uncommon mixture of parts was an excessive amount of for the general public. 

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A trailer for Across the Universe

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Why ‘Across the Universe’ felt The Beatles’ music damage the movie on the field workplace

According to Gizmodo, Across the Universe grossed $29.6 million in opposition to a $70.eight million finances. One would possibly suppose a musical with songs by the preferred band ever would carry out properly. However, director Julie Taymor thinks the movie’s relationship to The Beatles sank it.

“I was allowed to hire six unknown actors to play the leads and we did not advertise anywhere that Bono or Salma Hayek or Joe Cocker were the cameos, because they were just cameos,” Taymor informed Playbill. “The different factor it’s a must to bear in mind is that if individuals weren’t Beatles followers, that’s a tough promote. If individuals are enormous Beatles followers, that’s a tough promote. We made these songs literal. If you don’t like that, you gained’t prefer it.”

The Beatles near an airportThe Beatles near an airport
The Beatles | Keystone/Getty Images

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What Paul McCartney mentioned to the director of ‘Across the Universe’

So did Paul prefer it? According to Oprah’s web site, Taymor was anxious that Paul was coming to see the film. “It was the most terrifying moment,” she recalled. “I just felt that ultimately, that was it. I got to do the movie and sit with him and have him see it. And he sat next to me and when [The Beatles’ song] ‘All My Loving’ started, he sang under his breath. That was it!”

That was a great signal. So what did Paul consider Across the Universe as a complete? “At the end I did the classic thing. I said, ‘Was there anything you didn’t like?’ He said, ‘What’s not to like?’ And it was just those words.” Paul loved the movie as a lot as the general public rejected it.

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