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The Fifth Beatle, a long-gestating project about The Beatles manager Brian Epstein, is almost ready to go in front of the cameras. Production will start in 2014 and Yes Man director Peyton Reed has been tapped to take the helm.
The project was written by Tony winner Vivek J. Tiwary, who worked on Green Day’s American Idiot. Tiwary also wrote the graphic novel The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, which will serve as the basis for the film. Bruce Cohen, who co-produced the 1999 Oscar winner American Beauty, is producing the film, reports Deadline.
Reed and Cohen’s next job will be to find an actor to play Epstein, who discovered the Beatles and helped get them on the road to stardom. He died in 1967 at the age of 32 after overdosing on sleeping pills, notes Rolling Stone. Epstein did manage other groups and helped The Who, Jimi Hendrix and others get gigs.
The producers say that this is the first film to get the rights to use songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
“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. The Bring It On director added that he is a lifelong Beatles fan, “but it’s Brian’s fascinating life that really blew me away and drew me to this project.”
Tiwary is also attempting to produce a Broadway musical based on Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill.