Simon Cowell is set to produce a movie biopic of the late Beatles manager Brian Epstein, which will be entitled The Fifth Beatle. It’s an adaptation of a graphic novel of the same name published in 2013 by Vivek J. Tiwary, and tells the story of how Epstein took the legendary group from local stardom to international success under his stewardship.

According to a report in Variety, Tiwary himself has written the screenplay and is also signed on to be a producer alongside the ‘X Factor’ judge. The project has also secured the rights to use the group’s music in the film, with a director set to unveiled in the near future.

Simon CowellSimon Cowell is set to co-produce a film about Brian Epstein, The Beatles' manager

“The mission of The Fifth Beatle has always been to sing the unsung story of Brian Epstein – the brilliant and inspiring visionary behind the Beatles - so I am thrilled to expand his legacy into film,” said Tiwary in a statement.

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Cowell, himself a manager of pop groups, also issued a statement. “I have always been fascinated by Brian Epstein – and his story,” he said. “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.”

Epstein discovered The Beatles at a 1961 performance at The Cavern Club in Liverpool, and persuaded them to let him be their manager. After six months of trying to get them signed, he eventually persuaded George Martin of EMI Parlophone to sign the group, and the rest, as they say, is history.

On their route to global success, Epstein advised the group on such matters as setting up the company Northern Songs to handle the copyrights of all Lennon / McCartney compositions, and was often known to handle the inter-band disputes.

At the age of 32, Epstein died of an overdose of barbiturates at his London home on August 27th, 1967. In a retrospective interview in 1997, Paul McCartney said of Epstein “If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian.”

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