Filmmaker Danny Boyle has revealed he initially wanted to cast Chris Martin as a superstar singer in his latest Yesterday, but it was ultimately Ed Sheeran who landed the gig.
The upcoming musical-comedy, with screenplay by Richard Curtis, follows a struggling musician Jack (Himesh Patel) as he wakes up to discover he is the only person who remembers The Beatles.
In the movie, Sheeran plays an instrumental role, discovering Jack’s music, which is actually the music of the Beatles, and taking him on the road as his opening act.
“In the first script, it was written as Chris Martin, from Coldplay,” Boyle told Entertainment Weekly.
The director said he tried to convince Martin for the project, but the musician had recently completed a two-year world tour with Coldplay and wanted to spend some time with his family.
“Richard Curtis knew Chris because they’d done something for Red Nose Day for Comic Relief, but he also knew Ed because they live near each other in Suffolk. We had a very fun moment with Ed where we said, ‘You’d be so good for this, you’re our first choice. We can’t think of anyone (else)’ and he goes, ‘Hang on, you’ve already asked Chris Martin’,” Boyle said.
The director said Sheeran’s ability to laugh at himself worked in the film’s favour.
“He’s very funny. He doesn’t mind having fun poked at him, which obviously the film does. But he comes with that as well. So he remorselessly teased us about being second choice to Chris Martin,” he added.
Yesterday is scheduled to be released in India on July 12.