John Lennon, Yoko Ono Documentary: Kevin Macdonald to Direct

Life after The Beatles for legendary singer-songwriter John Lennon and wife Yoko Ono in New York City is the focus of Kevin MacDonald’s latest documentary, One to One: John & Yoko.

The Scottish filmmaker, coming off his fashion doc High & Low: John Galliano, recalls Lennon in 1972 performing his final full-stage performance, the One to One benefit concert, at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, with Ono at his side.

Directed by Macdonald (WhitneyTouching the Void, The Last King of Scotland), One to One features new materials like remixed concert audio produced by Sean Ono Lennon, newly restored footage and personal archives like phone calls and home movies recorded and filmed by Lennon and Ono. Besides earning an Oscar for One Day in September, MacDonald also executive produced the award-winning documentaries Senna and The Rescue.

“I wanted to make a film that surprises and delights even the most dedicated Lennon and Ono fans by focusing on one transformative period in their lives and telling the tale through their own words, images and music,” MacDonald said in a statement about his doc. The project is built around 16mm film footage of the classic One-to-One concert while offering an intimate look at Lennon and Ono charting a new musical course after The Beatles.

One to One: John & Yoko, from Mercury Studios, comes over 50 years after The Beatles broke up, and Lennon was fatally shot in 1980 as he and Ono returned to their home in the Dakota building overlooking New York’s Central Park. 

“Kevin’s documentary brings completely fresh insight into my parents’ lives during their Bank Street and early New York years, showing firsthand their unwavering dedication to promoting peace and non-violence during a turbulent era of unrest, corruption and unnecessary war,” Ono Lennon added his own statement.

One to One is also the first film from Plan B/KM Films, a joint venture between Macdonald and Brad Pitt’s Plan B Productions. The producer credits are shared by Peter Worsley, Alice Webb and Macdonald, while Steve Condie, David Joseph, Marc Robinson, Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner executive produce.

“This film is ultimately a story of radical hope. It is an honest and intimate look at a pivotal year in John and Yoko’s lives – a melting pot of politics, youth culture, self-growth and spine-tingling artistry. I’m honored to bring this story to fans everywhere with the impeccable Kevin Macdonald, Sean and Peter,” Mercury Studios CEO Alice Webb said in a statement.

Music-driven projects at Mercury Studios include American Symphony from Higher Ground Productions and Netflix; If These Walls Could Sing, directed by Mary McCartney for Disney+; and My Life as a Rolling Stone for the BBC and MGM+.

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