Danny Boyle

Richard Curtis: Writing Yesterday - Part one

Follow the hugely successful screenwriter as he crafts his new Beatles-inspired film
This month a new film by the award-winning screenwriter Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Love Actually) will be launched in cinemas across the world. Yesterday is inspired by the music of the Beatles, and although the germ of the idea was not his, the story, its construction and the characters created are all Richard Curtis originals.

Yasmeen Khan has been talking to Richard as the film developed over the last two years with the various drafts shaped, reshaped and edited. 

In this, the first of a special two-part In the Studio, she hears how his first attempts failed to satisfy his fiercest critic, his partner Emma, who also operates as his script editor. There’s also been the addition of a director, the Oscar-winning Danny Boyle, who provides another set of ideas that need incorporating. All the while Richard strives to ensure that the music of the Beatles, that’s been so important to him throughout his life, should remain at the heart of the final film.

Richard Curtis: Writing Yesterday - Part two

On set with the successful screenwriter as he crafts his new Beatles-inspired film
This month a new film by the award-winning screenwriter Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Love Actually) will be launched in cinemas across the world. ‘Yesterday’ is inspired by the music of the Beatles and although the germ of the idea was not his, the story, its construction and the characters created are all Richard Curtis originals.

Yasmeen Khan has been talking to Richard as the film developed over the last two years with the various drafts shaped, reshaped and edited. 

In this, the second of a special two-part In The Studio, Yasmeen joins Richard on the film set as the words he’s worked on so carefully are brought to life by actors and the Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle. Yet even here there’s a role for the writer as tweaks and changes are made during filming as the raw material of the screenplay becomes the digital material ready for editing. Yasmeen also joins Richard as the film gets its first trial screening in preparation for its release.

Yesterday: Inside Danny Boyle's world without The Beatles

Paul Glynn

Entertainment reporter

Imagine there's no Beatles. It's easy if you try.

Easier still if the award-winning writer/director team of Richard Curtis and Radcliffe-born Danny Boyle do the bulk of the hypothesising for you, as they have in their new film, Yesterday.

The Beatles
Getty Images

The movie sees struggling singer-songwriter Jack Malik wake up after an accident caused by a global power outage to a world that has forgotten all about John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Curtis told the BBC he enjoyed writing a joke about how an internet search for "Oasis" in a Fab Four-free universe no longer throws up the Beatles-borrowing Mancunian rock 'n' roll band, but merely a description of "an isolated area of vegetation in a desert".

Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis
Getty Images

Boyle said seeing EastEnders actor Himesh Patel singing well-known hits would make audiences "think about the song being re-discovered or re-presented to you".

A special screening of the film is due to take place in Liverpool tonight.