TV biopic brings Beatles manager Epstein’s life to the small screen

Brian Epstein (left), alongside George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. – AFP pic, March 14, 2016.Brian Epstein (left), alongside George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. – AFP pic, March 14, 2016.Based on the graphic novel "The Fifth Beatle: The Story of Brian Epstein," the TV biopic will focus on the life of the Liverpool impresario who helped get the legendary rock group on the road to global success, telling the story over a series of episodes from Sonar Entertainment.

Brian Epstein is credited with discovering The Beatles in November 1961, when the Fab Four were playing a gig at the Cavern Club in their native Liverpool (UK).

A record store manager at the time, Brian Epstein went on to become the band's manager and helped them secure a contract with the Parlophone record label, a division of EMI.

Responsible for convincing John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Star and George Harrison to adopt a tamer, more gentlemanly look to appeal to all generations, Brian Epstein died in 1967 aged 32 following an overdose of barbiturates.

In spite of his successful career, Brian Epstein grappled with deep-rooted complexes from a young age, pushing him to consume alcohol and a variety of drugs. His death came as the band reached the height of their creativity.

The TV series will be based on "The Fifth Beatle: The Story of Brian Epstein," a 2013 graphic novel by Andrew C. Robinson, Kyle Baker and Vivek J. Tiwary, with Tiwary signed up to pen the small-screen adaptation.

The novel has sparked much interest since its release, with talk of a big-screen adaptation just prior to its release, then interest from English producer Simon Cowell in 2015.

The TV adaptation joins "A Life in the Day," a similar project currently in the pipeline for the big screen.

Justin Chadwick ("Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom") is reportedly in talks to direct the movie, based on Brian Epstein and his ambiguous relationship with John Lennon, with Nicholas Hoult and Jack O'Donnell being lined up for the starring roles.

Despite the immense success of The Beatles since the 1960s, fictions based on the group are few and far between, especially on the big screen.

Apart from a few TV movies, since fallen into small-screen oblivion, the only standout Beatles fiction is "Nowhere Boy," a 2010 movie based on the early life of John Lennon, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson. – AFP/Relaxnews, March 14, 2016.


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