Okay one more comics-to-movies announcement for the day, and this one is pretty unsurprising—ever since Tony-winning producer Vivek J. Tiwary wrote The Fifth Beatle, a powerful biography of Beatles manager Brian Epstein, it seemed destined for the big screen. With outstanding art by Andrew Robinson and Kyle Baker, the book is not only an Eisner winning graphic novel, but also literally the only biography of Epstein in print.
Syco Entertainment, the company run by former Ameircan Idol meanie Simon Cowell will co-produce the film, with a screenplay by Tiwary.
Tiwary, Cowell and IM Global Founder and CEO Stuart Ford will serve as producers, and have already secured an unprecedented agreement with Sony/ATV Publishing for the use of Beatles music to be used in the film. IM Global President of Production Matt Jackson, President of IM Global Music David Schulhof, and Syco Entertainment’s Head of Film Adam Milano will serve as executive producers. The producers also anticipate bringing a director onboard shortly.
Said Tiwary, “The mission of ‘The Fifth Beatle’ has always been to sing the unsung story of Brian Epstein– the brilliant and inspiring visionary behind the Beatles– so I am thrilled to expand his legacy Into film. And to be partnering with a brilliant self-made boy from Liverpool and a game-changing music impresario– I’m certain Brian would be pleased!”
Said Ford, “Vivek has written a powerful, vibrant screenplay about one of the most colorful and heartbreaking stories in rock’n’roll history. I am proud and incredibly excited to launch into putting the film together with Vivek, Simon and the rest of the team.”
Said Cowell, “I have always been fascinated by Brian Epstein – and his story. He played a huge role in The Beatles incredible success – and, I believe, remains the most talented manager ever. Yet his story has never been fully told. Also, like everyone across the world, I have so much respect for The Beatles and their music. So to be given the chance to be involved in this project was one I just could not pass up.”
Epstein was integral to getting the Beatles from their early Hamburg days to superstardom, but harbored a secret life as a homosexual when that was technically illegal in Britain. He tragically ended his own life just as the Beatles had their greatest success. It’s quite a story and will make quite a film.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.