Universal Pictures is in negotiations to option Anthony McCarten’s script with Michael De Luca Productions and Immersive Pictures producing. News first emerged in February that De Luca was collaborating with Yoko Ono for an untitled drama about Ono and her relationship with Lennon.
Vallee (“Dallas Buyers Club,” “Big Little Lies”) is attached to direct and edit. He will also rewrite the screenplay alongside McCarten. Ono will produce with De Luca, Immersive Pictures’ Josh Bratman, and McCarten. Vallee and his producing partner Nathan Ross will also produce through their production company, Crazyrose. Bruce Kaufman of Wood Hollow Pictures will executive produce.
Ono and Lennon met in 1966 at a London art gallery, where Ono was showing abstract art while the Beatles were four years into superstardom. Lennon asked Ono about her “Painting to Hammer a Nail In” piece, and if he could hammer a nail into the painting. She asked him to pay five shillings per nail, but the two then agreed that Lennon would pay imaginary money to hammer an imaginary nail.
Lennon and Ono wed in 1969 in Gibraltar, with the experience immortalized in the song “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” which was the Beatles’ final number one U.K. hit. The Beatles broke up in 1970 as each embarked on a solo career.
Vallee and Ross are represented by David Weber of Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern LLP. McCarten is represented by CAA and Myman Greenspan Fox Rosenberg Mobasser Younger & Light LLP. Ono is represented by Jonas Herbsman of Shukat Arrow Hafer Weber & Herbsman LLP. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.