In the past week, news has emerged of two competing Beatles projects, each taking a very different approach to its subject matter. In one corner is Oasis frontman-turned-movie producer Liam Gallagher. His plan is to adapt former Apple Records PR guy Richard DiLello's book, "The Longest Cocktail Party: An Insider's Diary of the Beatles, Their Million Dollar Apple Empire and Its Wild Rise and Fall," into a feature film. There's no writer, director or cast yet, but we can at least expect the title to change (read: shorten). Gallagher is expected to make a formal announcement about the project next week at the Cannes Film Festival.
In the other corner is author Alan Goldsher and his upcoming book "Paul Is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion," which Deadline reports has been optioned for a film treatment by "Pulp Fiction" producers Michael Chamberg and Stacey Sher. The story, told as an oral history (think "World War Z"), follows a zombified Fab Four as they spread undead Beatlemania across the world... all while being pursued by Mick Jagger, England's premiere zombie hunter, and Yoko Ono, an Eighth Level Ninja Lord.
Now The Beatles have been well-documented in film, but there's never been a proper biopic covering the part of their career that most people are familiar with. "Backbeat," released in 1994, covers their early career in Germany. "Nowhere Boy," which hits U.S. theaters in October, follows John Lennon through his childhood. There are others too: "The Hours and Times," "Two of Us," "Birth of the Beatles"... more than that even. And that's not even mentioning "inspired by" films like "Across the Universe." Yet for all of these film treatments, none of them have ever attempted to capture the group during the magical times they spent together through the '60s.
Gallagher's treatment threatens to fall the closest so far. "The Longest Cocktail Party" doesn't cover the entire arc of the band's time together, but it does chart their final years: the launch of Apple Records, the release of "Let It Be," their final rooftop concert and the aftermath of their breakup.
"Paul Is Undead" shifts away from reality and moves into tongue-in-cheek horror territory. Zombies are an increasingly hot item in the present-day pop culture reality. In the book, a vast range of recognizable figures speak out about their experiences with the zombified quartet. In the book's fiction, The Beatles inserted subliminal messages into their music, luring adoring fans backstage to share their hearts, minds and brains with the band.
My question is: which are you more interested in? I'm truly torn. On the one hand, getting a feature-length dramatized treatment of the Beatles' career -- even just their late career -- is incredibly tantalizing. Something that's never before been attempted even though it's an incredible tale. On the other hand... zombie Beatles, people. If ever there was a more awesome idea for a mock-biopic, I haven't heard it.
Which ranks higher on your radar: (reasonably) accurate portrayal of The Beatles' late career in film or ridiculous based-on-nothing-resembling-the-truth horror-comedy in which the Fab Four are turned on dead men?