The movie was inspired by the true story of singer Steve Tilston, who learned of a letter Lennon had written him 34 years after it was penned. Tilston hadn’t told anyone about his rare finding in 2005. Dan Fogelman (Crazy Stupid Love, Cars) came knocking. Tilston said he liked “the sweet film”.
The legend is, Lennon was responding to Tilston’s comments that were published in a 1971 edition of British underground zine, ZigZag: “If you get rich, you must change”, Tilston said. “Your experiences will be different and they probably won’t have the same depth.”. However, Lennon wrote back by stating in the infamous letter, “Being rich doesn’t change your experience in the way you think.”
While the movie is based on real events, the fictitious part of the story is heart warming. Collins attempts to go on the clean and narrow, quitting drugs, and tries to build a relationship with the son he never met (Bobby Cannavale). He learns that he also has to win over the sons wife (Jennifer Garner) and his scene stealing daughter (Giselle Eisenberg). Meanwhile, the single superstar, make a play on hotel manager, Mary Sinclair, (Annette Benning).
Pacino does perform in the movie. Danny Collins had one hit that everyone loved. While trying to create new music, Collins turns back to his crowd pleaser, afraid of the reaction he get trying new material. The song, Hey Baby Doll, was actually written by Ciaran Gribbin and Gary Agar. The other two Collins songs in the flick were written by Ryan Adams.