Paul McCartney Documentary Man on the Run To Chronicle Post-Beatles Years

Project features ‘unprecedented access to a never-before-seen archive’ of McCartney’s film and photos
Paul and Linda McCartney performing with Wings in London in 1976 (photo: Wood / Evening Standard / Getty Images / Hulton Archive).

Details have been confirmed about a long-in-the-works, authorized documentary chronicling Paul McCartney‘s post-Beatles years and his 30-year relationship with his late wife Linda. Man on the Run will be directed by Oscar-winner Morgan Neville (Won’t You Be My Neighbor, Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain) and features “unprecedented access to a never-before-seen archive of Paul and Linda’s home videos and photos, as well as new interviews.”

The film, which doesn’t yet have a release date, begins with McCartney “navigating the aftermath of the break-up of the Beatles, facing down myriad challenges while creating new music that would ultimately become the defining soundtrack of a new decade,” per a statement. It is said to be “the definitive document of Paul’s emergence from the dissolution of the world’s biggest band, and his triumphant creation of a second decade of musical milestones.”

That second decade was dominated by McCartney’s tenure with Wings, which included Linda on keyboards and became an arena-filling band in its own right thanks to albums such as Band on the Run (1973) and Venus and Mars (1975). McCartney also released acclaimed solo work attributed to himself (1970’s McCartney) or in tandem with Linda (1971’s Ram) before Wings dissolved in 1980. Linda McCartney died of cancer in 1998 at the age of 56.

“As a lifelong obsessive of all things McCartney, I’ve always felt that the 1970s were the great under-examined part of his story,” says Neville, who has also worked on music documentaries about Pearl Jam, Keith Richards, Yo-Yo Ma, and unheralded backing singers from the 1960s. “I’m thrilled to have the chance to explore and reappraise this crucial moment in a great artist’s life and work.”

Adds producer Michele Anthony, who is also executive vice president of Universal Music Group, “At its heart, this is a story of Linda and Paul’s enduring love and an artist finding his own voice after being in the most historic music group ever. Our film traces one of the most incredibly creative periods of Paul’s life which spawned a vital and legendary body of work that continues to impact people and culture in every corner of the globe. We are honored to present this story with unprecedented access to a treasure trove of material from Paul and Linda’s personal archive.”

McCartney turned 80 last June, a milestone celebrated with blowout concerts at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium and at the U.K.’s Glastonbury Festival. SPIN understands that the former show, which featured a two-song guest appearance by Bruce Springsteen, is expected to be released commercially in some form, although details have not been announced.

Also forthcoming on June 13 is 1964: Eyes of the Storm, which compiles 275 photographs taken by McCartney on a 35mm camera from late 1963 to early 1964. The collection, which was found in McCartney’s archive in 2020, details the behind-the-scenes lives of the Beatles at a time when they were quickly becoming the biggest band in the world and includes never-before-seen photos of John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.

“Anyone who rediscovers a personal relic or family treasure is instantly flooded with memories and emotions, which then trigger associations buried in the haze of time,” McCartney says of Eyes of the Storm. “This was exactly my experience in seeing these photos, all taken over an intense three-month period of travel, culminating in February 1964. It was a wonderful sensation to be plunged right back. Here was my own record of our first huge trip, a photographic journal of the Beatles in six cities, beginning in Liverpool and London, followed by Paris (where John and I had been ordinary hitchhikers three years before), and then what we regarded as the big time, our first visit as a group to America.”

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