The story of the Beatles‘ brilliant and troubled manager Brian Epstein is in the works as a limited scripted series for Bravo. The project, based on Vivek J. Tiwary‘s graphic novel, The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, has already had two stalled movie versions based around the comic — the last in 2015, with Simon Cowell producing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The potential series includes Tiwary’s access to the John Lennon-Paul McCartney song catalog, marking the first Beatles-related biopic to secure those rights. Tiwary will pen the script and executive produce alongside Leopoldo Gout. The project hails from Universal Cable Productions and Sonar Entertainment.”

Brian Epstein, who died of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 34, literally groomed the Beatles from a scruffy, leather clad, bar band into the most successful and influential musicians of their time. In April 2014, Epstein was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Epstein, who ran the music division of his parents’ Liverpool department store, discovered the band in late 1961 and in just over six months had secured them their record deal with EMI Records.

  • During his six years managing the band, Epstein’s office supervised all of their personal and professional cares, including tour schedules, police security, personal mortgages, honeymoons, vacations, publicity, and much more. Epstein served as the best man to John Lennon and Ringo Starr at their weddings, and at George Harrison‘s wedding, he shared best man duties with Paul McCartney. In 1963, John and Cynthia Lennon named Epstein the godfather to their only child, Julian Lennon.
  • Epstein’s personal life, which included bouts of depression over being gay, led to his growing dependence on alcohol and prescription medications. At the time of his death, he was afraid that the Beatles would not re-sign him as their manager when his contract was up later that year. In recent years McCartney has stated that the Beatles would have kept Epstein on, but would have reduced his 20 percent managerial fee.
  • After the Beatles’ breakup, all four members stated that Epstein’s death was the first crack in the group’s foundation, and helped lead to their eventual split in 1970.
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