Bono, The Edge Collaborating With ‘Once’ Director on New Project

John Carney says U2 rockers could pen two or three songs for new movie, "Sing Street"

June 11, 2014 8:00 AM ET
Bono The Edge U2
Bono and The Edge
Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Bono and the Edge will contribute a handful of songs to Once director John Carney's upcoming film, Sing Street, which takes place in Dublin in the 1980s and tells the story of a teenager who starts a band after switching from private to public school.

"[T]hey already have been extremely helpful in discussing the musical aspect of the film and what the sound is going to be like," Carney tells Rolling Stone. "It's going to be set in the Eighties; obviously U2 were extremely prolific then, so they'll bring that, and they’ve just been great sounding boards. Bono has been very helpful with character and story as I've sort of pitched the project to him over the last few months."

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While Bono has helped Carney flesh out Sing Street's story, the director noted that the singer wasn't exactly pulling from his own experiences of forming U2 while still in high school. Still, Carney praised Bono's knack for story, which he believes comes not just from a love of film, but from his storied music career as well.

"I think a lot of musicians know about story, because I think a gig is a story," Carney said. "And I think that an album is a story, and most people that write albums have some sense of a three act structure. So he's been very helpful with how much music he's done, but also I think he watches movies closely. He's been helpful with beginning with a strong opening scene and character development. He's just generally a guy that knows his movies."

Carney added that Bono and the Edge won't appear in the movie itself, and while their official role or level of involvement remains to be seen, the director said they will likely serve as some sort of executive musical producers, and pen two or three tracks for the film. U2 certainly know a thing or two about writing for movies too: The band scored their second Oscar nod for Best Original Song last year for "Ordinary Love" from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

As for their own material, U2 released the song "Invisible" — which premiered in a Super Bowl ad for Bank of America and the band's partnership with non-profit organization (Red) — and then performed the track on top of Rockefeller Center to help Jimmy Fallon ring in his tenure as host of The Tonight Show earlier this year. The track should also appear on the band's upcoming LP (their first since 2009's No Line on the Horizon), which they recorded over the past two years with Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton.

Additional reporting by Katie Van Syckle

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