Universal Music Group-backed Mercury Studios is partnering with celebrated doc producer John Battsek’s Ventureland for the project, entitled “If These Walls Could Sing.”
The doc marks the first time Abbey Road has opened its doors to a feature doc, and will be the centrepiece of the legendary studio’s 90th anniversary celebrations, which kick off in November. Billed as the untold story of the studio, the film will feature an all-star cast of interviews, and intimate access to the premises.
Located in St. John’s Wood in North West London, Abbey Road Studios was opened in 1931 and has earned a reputation for groundbreaking recording technology. Although it was initially used for classical recordings, its repertoire eventually broadened to jazz, big band and rock ‘n’ roll. The Beatles recorded 190 of their 210 songs at the studios.
“If These Walls Could Sing” will be produced by Battsek following a new development deal between Mercury Studios and Ventureland, whose recent credits include “Rising Phoenix” (Netflix), “Ready For War” (Showtime), “AKA Jane Roe” (FX), “The Life & Trials of Oscar Pistorius” (ESPN) and “American Rapstar” (SXSW ’20).
Development of the doc has been overseen by Universal Music U.K.’s Marc Robinson and Mercury Studios CEO Alice Webb, who will executive produce.
“Some of my earliest memories as a young child come from time spent at Abbey Road,” said McCartney, who is Beatle Paul McCartney and late photographer Linda McCartney’s daughter. “I’ve long wanted to tell the story of this historic place and I couldn’t be collaborating with a better team than John and Mercury Studios to make this creative ambition a reality.”
Webb added: “Mercury Studios could not be partnering with a more visionary and passionate team than Mary McCartney and John Battsek to tell Abbey Road Studios’ incredible story on film for the first time. We are passionate about showcasing work of pioneering film makers of the highest quality – which is why we are delighted Mary is bringing her creative vision to this project.”
Isabel Garvey, managing director of Abbey Road Studios, said: “If these walls could sing. I have lost count how many times I’ve heard that said at Abbey Road Studios over the years. I can’t wait for some of these stories to finally come to life in what will become a timeless documentary.”