Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis open up about working with the music of The Beatles on ‘Yesterday’

"The Beatles are the Everest of music."

Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis have revealed more about their work with the music of The Beatles on their new film, Yesterday.

The film, written by Richard Curtis and directed by Boyle, imagines a world in which everyone has forgotten the songs of The Beatles apart from one person, Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), who subsequently pretends the songs are his.

In a new interview with NME, Curtis opened up about what it was like working with the music of the Fab Four and how he specifically chose Boyle to direct the movie because of his love of the group’s music. You can watch the interview below.

On being asked if he felt the weight of responsibility of working with their music, Curtis said: “No…nothing can damage The Beatles, they are…the Everest of music. I’m just a little tent parked on the lower slopes that looks pretty for a moment or two!”

On choosing Boyle to direct the film he penned, Curtis added: “I know Danny as a person and not only is he a huge Beatles enthusiast, but he’s a kind of lovely enthusiastic – and in some ways – quite Romantic man so rather than looking at [his] films, which I loved for all their direction and skill I kind of looked at the man and thought he’d have exactly the right heart to do it.”

Boyle also told NME how Ringo Starr and Olivia Harrison – the widow of George Harrison – sent notes about how much they enjoyed the film after seeing it. Whilst Paul McCartney hasn’t yet seen the film according to Boyle, he also sent them a message after seeing the film’s trailer.

“You have to write to them and explain the concept so they’ll let you associate the music with it and then also we sent them the finished film, just out of courtesy.

“…We got a lovely message back from Ringo and Olivia, George’s widow. I don’t think Paul has seen it but he saw the trailer and said ‘The trailer seems to work – that’s a surprise!’”

In other news, Boyle also revealed that Ed Sheeran wasn’t his first choice to appear in the film Yesterday. In the film, Ed Sheeran plays himself and invites Malik to appear as his support act after hearing him sing ‘In My Life’ on the television.

However, Boyle revealed in an interview with NME that Sheeran wasn’t in fact the first choice for the part, but that Coldplay frontman Chris Martin was instead.

“He teased us rotten because he found out we’d asked Chris Martin first, so he never let us forget that,” Boyle explained. “And he accused us of asking Harry Styles second, which isn’t true, but we did ask Chris Martin first, so he teases us rotten about that but he gives as good as he gets.”

Curtis joked: “[Ed Sheeran] must be teased because of the fact he’s had so much success and still hasn’t cut his hair. But he gives a great performance in the film.”