Competing biopics about famed Beatles manager Brian Epstein? It sure looks like it, but at least one production has taken a decisive step forward. As you might remember, way back in 2009, a film called "A Life In The Day" was said to be in the works. Producer David Permut ("Youth In Revolt") had acquired a Tony Gittelson-penned script about the life of Beatles manager Brian Epstein who discovered the band, went around to every A&R man in the U.K. to get them signed, eventually landing them a deal with Parlophone (at the time largely a comedy label) with their longtime producer George Martin and notoriously signed away Beatles likeness and merchandising rights in terrible deals that lost the band millions. He was also their rock, one of the few people the Beatles would listen to, and his death in 1967 of a drug overdose was a huge factor that directly lead to the band's break-up in 1969. But little did we know about "The Fifth Beatle."
However, according to a recent report in the print edition of The Hollywood Reporter, and confirmed on the official website of the film managed by producer/screenwriter Vivek J. Tiwary, "The Fifth Beatle" has secured $25 million in financing for the film, but perhaps even more importantly, they've landed the rights for up to ten songs by the Beatles including "All You Need Is Love," "A Day In The Life" and "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away."
Beatles songs are notoriously difficult and expensive to license, so this is a real coup and certainly a big step for the film. Certainly, Tiwary's experience in producing the stage musicals of "American Idiot" and "The Addams Family" likely made him familiar and confident in what negotiations for the songs would entail. But the Beatles tunes will be beefed up by contributions from Nitin Sawhney, Joe Jackson and Robyn Hitchcock, the latter of which is contributing three songs "Hurry For The Sky", "I'm Falling", and "TLC" each of which appeared on his 2009 album "Goodnight Oslo." The song "TLC" is a reference to Triptizol, Librium, and Carbrital, the drugs Epstein was taking before the end of his life.
As of yet no director or cast has been announced, but an online, longer version of the THR story is sure to be hitting the web sometime soon. So for now, this looks like the Brian Epstein movie to beat and it clearly has the pole position over the other film. [via Yahoo]
The Beatles "All You Need Is Love"
The Beatles "A Day In The Life"
The Beatles "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"