Here comes the sun.
Producers are Scorsese, Harrison and Exclusive Media co-chair/CEO Nigel Sinclair. A 2011 release date is being eyed.
Exclusive, which holds worldwide rights, is shopping the project at Cannes, where Scorsese and Harrison are promoting the doc. There’s no domestic distrib yet.
“Living in the Material World” is a production of Scorsese’s Sikelia Prods., Olivia Harrison’s Grove Street Prods. and Exclusive’s Spitfire Pictures documentary label.
Scorsese is fascinated by rock ‘n’ roll musicians, and has chronicled some of the most iconic artists of the 20th century, including the Band (“The Last Waltz”), the Rolling Stones (“Shine a Light”), Bob Dylan (“No Direction Home: Bob Dylan”) and, now, George Harrison.
Scorsese said the former Beatles’ life was a remarkable musical and spiritual voyage. He and Olivia Harrison both said George Harrison was always trying to find the balance between the physical and the spiritual, hence the film’s title.
“I grew up a Roman Catholic and wanted to become a priest, so it is a subject matter that has never left me. The more you’re in the material world, the more the search for serenity,” Scorsese said.
Harrison said she spent countless hours pouring through her husband’s notes, cassette tapes and photos. Many of those materials have never been made public before.
Film also uses never-before-seen footage in tracing the guitarist and songwriter’s life, from his days with the Beatles until his death in 2001. It includes interviews with those closest to him, including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Eric Idle, Tom Petty, Yoko Ono and Phil Spector.
Harrison wrote and released songs until his death. One note his widow found: “Goats on a roof.”
Project reteams Scorsese, Sinclair and exec producer Margaret Bodde, who worked together on “No Direction Home.”
“Living in the Material World” is now being edited by David Tedeschi, who cut both “No Direction Home” and “Shine a Light.”
Scorsese said he worked on the doc simultaneously with “Shutter Island,” and that working on a nonfiction film and a feature at the same time is a liberating experience. Similarly, he worked on “No Direction” at the same time that he was making “The Aviator.”
“In a complicated way, it frees me from the constrictions of a feature. I have a narrative freedom,” Scorsese said.