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Cannes: ‘The Fifth Beatle’ Movie in the Works from Simon Cowell, IM Global (EXCLUSIVE)

IM Global is partnering with Vivek J. Tiwary and Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment to co-produce the feature film version of “The Fifth Beatle,” based on the life of Beatles manager Brian Epstein.

The screenplay, written by Tiwary, is an adaptation of his graphic novel that recounts how Epstein discovered the Beatles in a cellar in Liverpool and guided them to worldwide success.

Tiwary, Cowell and IM Global founder and CEO Stuart Ford will serve as producers. They have already secured an agreement with Sony/ATV Publishing for the use of Beatles music in the film.

IM Global president of production Matt Jackson, president of IM Global Music David Schulhof, and Syco Entertainment’s head of film Adam Milano will serve as executive producers. The producers anticipate bringing a director onboard shortly.

Epstein first discovered the Beatles in 1961, during a performance at the Cavern Club. Six months later, after being rejected by nearly all major labels in London, he was able to persuade George Martin of EMI Parlophone to sign the group.

Epstein passed away in 1967 at the age of 32. Paul McCartney said in 1997, “If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian.”

“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,” Tiwary said in a statement. “And to be partnering with a brilliant self-made boy from Liverpool and a game-changing music impresario — I’m certain Brian would be pleased!”

“The Fifth Beatle” was written by Tiwary, with art by Andrew Robinson and Kyle Baker. It was published by Dark Horse Comics in 2013.

The movie project had been set up previously with Bruce Cohen (“American Beauty”).

“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.”

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