Dallas Buyers Club and Big Little Lies filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée has settled on his next film, and it’s a big one. Deadline reports that Universal Pictures is in talks to option the rights to a film about “the epic love story” between John Lennon and Yoko Ono, with Vallée directing from a script by Oscar-nominated The Theory of Everything screenwriter Anthony McCarten. As is usual for Vallée, the filmmaker will also edit the film.
This is a project that has been years in the making, as producers Michael De Luca (The Social Network) and Josh Bratman worked hard to win over Ono with their take on hers and Lennon’s enduring love story. After McCarten wrote the script, Vallée came aboard and met with Ono, and now the hope is to have production underway late next year after Vallée and McCarten do a final pass on the script. Deals have yet to be made, but the plan is for the music composed and performed by Lennon to serve as the soundtrack for the film.
Vallée made waves with the films Dallas Buyers Club and Wild, then spearheaded the entire first season of the smash hit HBO series Big Little Lies. He followed that up with yet another critically acclaimed HBO limited series, the Amy Adams-fronted Sharp Objects, but admitted after he completed that project that he was eager to jump back into films. Vallée’s name surfaced when producers were looking for a Bond 25 replacement after Danny Boyle departed that blockbuster, but Vallée apparently took his name out of the running when this Lennon/Ono project finally looked like it was going to happen.
Music has been a significant part of all of Vallée’s projects, and this isn’t even the first biopic of sorts that he’s worked on. He was set to direct a Janis Joplin biopic with Amy Adams in the lead role a couple years ago, but the project fell apart.
McCarten, meanwhile, is on a bit of a roll having written not only Theory of Everything but also last year’s Winston Churchill film Darkest Hour and the upcoming Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
Now, of course, the focus will be on who Vallée enlists to play Lennon and Ono. I have a feeling Ezra Miller could knock the Lennon role out of the park, but I’m curious to hear other suggestions.