Sonar Entertainment has optioned the rights to Vivek J. Tiwary’s New York Times bestselling graphic novel The Fifth Beatle: The Story of Brian Epstein, for development as a multi-part TV event series. Tiwary will pen the series adaptation and serve as executive producer.

The Fifth Beatle, previously developed as a feature by Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment, recounts the untold true story of the legendary Beatles manager and his effort to drive the unknown band from playing in a Liverpool cellar to international superstardom. Epstein overcame great obstacles, both personally and professionally, being a gay man in a time and place where homosexual acts were a felony. The project includes Tiwary’s access to the John Lennon-Paul McCartney song catalog, the first Beatles-related biopic to secure such rights.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Vivek to expand his vision to another medium and expose a whole new audience to his riveting and audacious work,” said Tom Patricia, EVP Event Series at Sonar Entertainment. “This story of the man behind the rise of the Beatles will captivate fans around the world and make for a compelling series that is both intimate and epic.”

Added Tiwary: “Brian Epstein’s story is rich in inspiration and is set amidst a backdrop of great cultural change and the legendary history of the Beatles, so an event series truly feels like the only way to do Brian justice. We’re going to do wonderful things with the extra creative room afforded to us.”

The graphic novel, with art by Andrew C. Robinson and Kyle Baker, was published by Dark Horse Comics in 2013. It went on to win numerous literary awards including the Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based work, and two Harvey Awards including Best Original Graphic Album, as well as several other honors. In 2014 The Fifth Beatle was added to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives, in conjunction with Brian Epstein’s official induction.