The Fifth Beatle, a biopic about the Fab Four’s manager Brian Epstein, will begin shooting next year. Director Peyton Reed, whose credits include Yes Man, The Break-Up and Bring It On, will helm the film. The movie is based on Vivek J. Tiwary’s graphic novel The Fifth Beatle, which came out last year. An Epstein movie with a screenplay by Tiwary has been rumored to be in production since 2006. The press release claims that The Fifth Beatle is the first-ever film about the Beatles to secure music rights to the Lennon–McCartney catalog and now that Reed has signed on, casting for Epstein’s role will begin soon.
Epstein spotted the Beatles at Liverpool’s Cavern Club in 1961. Within two months, he signed on to be their manager. Epstein is credited with convincing the group to clean up its look and getting them a record contract. In addition to working with the Beatles, he managed other British Invasion artists, booked gigs for the Who and Cream and brought Jimi Hendrix to the U.K., among other endeavors. Epstein died in his flat in August 1967 of an overdose of sleeping pills. He was 32. Investigators ruled it accidental – an explanation Tiwary stands by – but fans have speculated over the years that it was suicide.
“Telling his story is a very passionate labor of love for me,” Tiwary said last year about the graphic novel. “I wanted to work in artist management, I wanted to manage bands. I thought, ‘If I’m going to manage bands, I should study the great artist managers.'”
“From the moment I read Vivek’s graphic novel, I knew I wanted to be the person to bring Brian’s story to the big screen,” Reed said in a statement. “I’m a lifelong Beatles fan, obviously, but it’s Brian’s fascinating life that really blew me away and drew me to this project. He’s the ultimate outsider who, against all odds, became the ultimate insider.”
In related news, Tiwary – who has a Tony for his producing credits on Broadway, including Green Day‘s American Idiot and The Addams Family – is working as a producer to bring Alanis Morissette‘s 1995 debut album, Jagged Little Pill, to the stage.