Nowhere Boy, a biopic about John Lennon’s childhood, has been picked up by the Weinstein Company, Variety reports. The project is two weeks into filming with Aaron Johnson, who played the young Ed Norton in The Illusionist, in the role of Lennon and English Patient star Kristin Scott Thomas portraying the Beatle’s aunt, who battled Lennon’s mother Julia for custody. The film will examine the effects each woman and their custody fight had on the young musician. Variety says the movie will also laser in on Lennon’s bond with Paul McCartney, and concludes when the Beatles leave Liverpool and head off to Germany.
Taking its title from Rubber Soul‘s “Nowhere Man,” Nowhere Boy will be directed by Sam Taylor Wood, who helmed the Buzzcocks-inspired Love You More, with a screenplay penned by Joy Division biopic Control writer Matt Greenhalgh. The screenplay was based on the memoir written by Julia Baird, Lennon’s half-sister. “The story of John Lennon’s childhood has never been told, and now Beatles fans will be able to gain insight into his fascinating life,” Weinstein Company president of theatrical films Tom Ortenberg said in a press release. The company plans to release the movie in time for consideration for awards season, with a wider release to follow in January 2010.
According to a press release issued by the Weinstein Company that appears in full at Variety, the film’s full synopsis is:
“John Lennon is an ordinary fifteen year old boy on the streets of Liverpool. Funny, smart, naughty, a real edge to him. But life is not simple for John — he grew up in a family of secrets and was raised by his Aunt Mimi from the age of five. When he is suddenly reacquainted with his mother, Julia, they form an unbreakable bond. A bitter war rages between the two sisters for John’s love. Faced with bringing it to an end, he learns the secret heartbreak of his past. But his mother gives him one great gift — music. A wayward boy finds his voice, and walks into the Beatles.”
Nowhere Boy is just the latest in a long line of films that examine the Beatles and their music in some capacity. There was also Backbeat, the TV movie Two of Us, Across the Universe, I Am Sam, I Wanna Hold Your Hand and of course, A Hard Day’s Night and Help!.