Epstein discovered The Beatles – indeed Paul McCartney referred to him as “the fifth Beatle” – and they signed a contract with him in 1961. He also worked with music artists such as Gerry and the Pacemakers and Cilla Black, and helped promote musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Cream and Pink Floyd.
The film is described as “an emotional, witty, heartfelt story of the joy of success and the terrifying pressures of unspeakable risk and unfulfilled desire,” in a statement from the producers, Trevor Beattie and Jeremy Chatterton at Trevor Beattie Films, and Kevin Proctor and Perry Trevers at StudioPOW.
Beattie said Akerlund had a “rock and roll heart,” and “understands music and the music industry.”
Akerlund has directed several feature films, including Netflix’s graphic-novel adaptation “Polar,” starring Mads Mikkelsen and Vanessa Hudgens, and “Lords of Chaos,” starring Emory Cohen and Rory Culkin, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival, and was described as a “pitch-perfect black metal dramedy” in Variety.
His directing credits also include music videos and films that have earned him multiple awards, including Grammys for Paul McCartney’s “Live Kisses,” and Madonna’s “The Confessions Tour” and “Ray of Light.” His credits also include a special linked to Beyoncé’s “Lemonade,” which earned an Emmy and a Grammy nomination, and concert films that include the Emmy and Grammy nominated ”Beyoncé & Jay-Z – On the Run,” and Taylor Swift’s “The 1989 World Tour Live.”
He has also directed music videos for Lady Gaga, U2, The Rolling Stones, Beyoncé, Pink, Jennifer Lopez, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Duran Duran, Robbie Williams, Christina Aguilera, Smashing Pumpkins, Lenny Kravitz and Maroon 5.
Akerlund said: “Brian Epstein’s story has everything I’m looking for in a story…. it’s all about Brian’s singularity for me. I love that Brian seemed to know every step of the way what no one else knew, he saw things that no one else saw. His vision was astonishing, he created a culture that didn’t exist. The film is more like touring Brian’s mind and what it was like to be him than how one thing led to another chronologically. I want to bring him back to life.”
“Midas Man” will be shot in London, Liverpool and the U.S. for release in 2021. Worldwide sales will be handled by Mister Smith Entertainment.
The original screenplay was written by Brigit Grant and Jonathan Wakeham. The casting director is Dan Hubbard.
Peter Dunne, Mark Borkowski, and Twickenham Studios chairman and co-owner Sunny Vohra and managing partner Jeremy Rainbird will serve as executive producers. It is being produced in association with Er Dong Pictures, who will also be distributing the film in China.