The 2009 John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy is being adapted as a musical for the theatre stage.
Based on a book written by the late Beatle‘s half-sister Julia Baird, the film Nowhere Boy depicted Lennon’s teenage years and starred Aaron Johnson as the musician. Kristin Scott Thomas, David Morrissey and Anne-Marie Duff also starred, while Sam Taylor-Wood made her directorial debut with the movie.
Nowhere Boy is now set to become a stage musical. According to Deadline, the project is currently in the early stages of development after producing partners Brian and Dayna Lee (of AF Creative Media) and Robyn Goodman and Josh Fiedler (of Aged in Wood) acquired the rights to the biopic.
The musical will largely follow the narrative that was set out in the original film, which focused on the Quarrymen-era Lennon and the relationships he had with his mother, Julia Lennon, and Julia’s older sister, Mimi Smith. Producer Dayna Lee said that, as was the case with the movie, this focus on Lennon’s aunt and mother will depict “two very different women, very powerful in different ways.”
Brian Lee added that the producers are targeting a UK premiere for Nowhere Boy “in the next few years.”
“We’ve just secured the rights of the film,” Lee said. “And as a team we’ll be travelling to London this summer, trying to figure out the right person to bring this narrative to life.”
It’s understood that the producers have “no immediate plans” to seek additional life or music rights in telling Lennon’s story, while Yoko Ono is aware of the project “but has no involvement”. As with the film version of Nowhere Boy, the musical will not include Beatles songs – but will instead use rock and roll hits from the late 1950s.
Back in 2013, Miles Kane claimed that he turned down the role of Lennon in Nowhere Boy. “I knocked it back because I’m a singer and a guitarist,” he told NME at the time. “If I did something like that then I’d have fucked my career up…”