The Norwegian producers behind a film version of a highly acclaimed Norwegian novel “Beatles” were both relieved and jubilant, after their project was granted rights to use original music by The Beatles in the film. The deal marks a major breakthrough in getting the film made.
“This is a very decisive deal for us,” said Norwegian producer Jørgen Storm Rosenberg. His deal impressed industry observers: “It’s very difficult to get permission to use the The Beatles’ songs, and very expensive. Therefore this is quite a presentation,” music expert and radio personality Yan Friis told newspaper Dagsavisen.
The film version of award-winning author Lars Saabye Christensen’s book – about boys coming of age in Oslo in the 1960s and heavily influenced by Beatles music – has been in the planning stages for several years. Both Rosenberg and the film’s directors, Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning, who recently won an Oscar nomination for last year’s Kon-Tiki film, felt use of Beatles’ original music was critical to the film’s success. So did the Norwegian Film Institute, which made its financing of the film contingent on access to the music.
Rosenberg’s permission from Sony/ATV Music Publishing and EMI Music Nordics to use the Beatles’ music will enable filming to start in June. Friis thinks the death of a former chief at Apple Records, who had been associated with The Beatles since their start n Liverpool, has loosened restrictions on the music, as has a gradually more liberal stance among rights holders (including Yoko Ono) in recent years. The film’s premiere is set for February 14, 2014, the 30th anniversary of the novel’s debut.