The director of Back to the Future is going back to Beatlemania for his next film. Robert Zemeckis and Disney are hoping to remake the Beatles' 1968 animated classic Yellow Submarine, Variety reports. Zemeckis and Disney are reportedly brokering a deal that would give them access to the original film's 16-song soundtrack. Just as the 1968 Submarine was ahead of its time from an animation standpoint, Zemeckis hopes to employ his revolutionary performance-capture 3-D digital production formula that he's brought to films like The Polar Express, Beowulf and the upcoming Jim Carrey vehicle A Christmas Carol.
The film's plot is something that only the psychedelic era could produce: The Beatles, posing as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, are recruited to protect Pepperland from the Blue Meanies, with the Fab Four boarding a Yellow Submarine for the odyssey to the city under the sea. The Beatles didn't actually lend their voices to their animated counterparts — actors played those roles — but the group did appear in a live-action segment at the film's denouement. The film also introduced classics like "Hey Bulldog."
Zemeckis is eying a 2012 release to coincide with the Summer Olympics in London. Variety also writes that the deal for Yellow Submarine would include the option to spin a stage musical out of the remake. The Yellow Submarine remake is just the latest in a massive resurgence of the Beatles' legacy in recent months, a renaissance that will be capped off on September 9th with the release of both the band's entire remastered catalog and the The Beatles: Rock Band video game.
The Beatles are also on the cover of the current issue of Rolling Stone, marking the 33rd time the Fab Four have graced our front page. For the story of the Beatles' breakup, plus audio of John Lennon's 1970 interview with RS and our look at the Liverpool quartet's legendary recordings, check out our Beatles hub.