Simon Cowell‘s Syco Entertainment is producing “The Fifth Beatle” with IM Global, the two companies announced on Friday.
The movie is an adaptation of writer Vivek J. Tiwary’s graphic novel based on the life of Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein. Tiwary wrote the screenplay and is co-producing. No director has been brought on board yet, but producers anticipate attaching one “shortly.”
The title of the New York Times No. 1 bestseller is derived from a Paul McCartney quote, “If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian.”
The graphic novel not only tells the story of how Epstein discovered the band in a Liverpool basement and guided them to icon status in the music industry, but also details the manager’s struggle to find success while battling personal demons.
IM Global founder and CEO Stuart Ford will produce with Tiwary and Cowell, all of whom have already secured an agreement with Sony/ATV Publishing for the use of Beatles music to be used in the film.
IM Global president of production Matt Jackson, IM Global Music president David Schulhof, and Syco Entertainment head of film Adam Milano will serve as executive producers.
“I have always been fascinated by Brian Epstein — and his story,” Cowell said in a statement. “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.”