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Ron Howard to direct documentary about the Beatles

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oscar winning director Ron Howard said on Wednesday he will produce and direct an authorized feature-length documentary about the Beatles, covering the Fab Four years touring from 1960 to 1966.

The as yet untitled film will be made with the cooperation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison. It is scheduled to open in theaters by the end of next year.

Howard said he was "excited and honored" to be making the film about the Beatles with Apple Corps Ltd., White Horse Pictures and his producing partner Brian Grazer.

"Their impact on popular culture and the human experience cannot be exaggerated," Howard, a former child actor who won a best director Oscar in 2002 for "A Beautiful Mind," said in a statement.

The film will chronicle the British group who began playing in Liverpool in 1960 and later in Hamburg, Germany before storming America in 1964 and appearing on The Ed Sullivan show.

News of the upcoming film coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' first appearance on the show.

The film will include concert footage and up to a dozen songs performed by the group, according to Howard.

(Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Diane Craft)

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