Brian Epstein, the man who discovered and managed The Beatles -- and died tragically young at the height of the band's fame -- is getting a biopic.
Epstein's story will be based on a graphic novel about his life called "The Fifth Beatle," the nickname Epstein earned for his role in shaping what would become the most famous band in the world. The graphic novel, released last month, was written by Vivek J. Tiwary, who will adapt his work for the big screen.
Tiwary (who's won multiple Tonys for producing) had been attached to write an Epstein biopic for several years, and his graphic novel was optioned for the big screen more than a year before it was published. But now the project has a director -- Peyton Reed, who helmed "Yes Man," "The Break-Up," and "Bring It On," among others -- and has the distinction of being the first flick about the Fab Four to secure the music rights to the Lennon-McCartney songbook, a coup that should add some veracity (and killer tunes) to the proceedings.
After spotting the Beatles playing at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England, in 1961, Epstein quickly became their manager and landed them a record deal. He's been credited with creating Beatlemania and spearheading the British Invasion that swept through the U.S. in the '60s.
In addition to his professional achievements, the film will focus on his difficult personal life, including his struggle with being a gay man in a society hostile to homosexuality. Epstein died in 1967 after an accidental overdose of sleeping pills at the age of 32.
"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," said director Reed 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."
Casting for Epstein (and John, Paul, George, and Ringo) is set to begin soon. Filming is expected to take place in 2014.
[via Rolling Stone]