preedEXCLUSIVE: Peyton Reed is set to direct The Fifth Beatle, an adaptation of the bestselling graphic novel about the last years of The Beatles manager Brian Epstein. The film is being produced by Oscar-winner Bruce Cohen and Tony-winner Vivek J. Tiwary. Tiwary, whose credits include Green Day’s American Idiot wrote the graphic novel and the screenplay. Reed, who helmed The Break-Up and Bring It On, finds himself in an enviable position as this is the first film about the Fab Four that has been granted unprecedented access to the John Lennon/Paul McCartney music catalog. Production will begin next year. Now that Reed is aboard, the next step will be securing an actor to play Epstein.

brianepReed previously teamed with Cohen on the comedy Down With Love and he also helmed the Jim Carrey comedy Yes Man.

“From the moment I read Vivek’s graphic novel, I knew I wanted to be the person to bring Brian’s story to the big screen,” Reed said. “I’m a lifelong Beatles fan, obviously, but it’s Brian’s fascinating life that really blew me away and drew me to this project. He’s the ultimate outsider who, against all odds, became the ultimate insider. He was responsible for shepherding the most popular artistic expression of “love” in the history of modern culture, and yet he wasn’t allowed to express his own love during that time.”

The film bares the untold true story of Epstein, who discovered The Beatles, secured their first record deal and was scoffed at when he told the world this band would be bigger than Elvis. He guided them to unprecedented global success. Despite Epstein’s success as a music impresario, he died at age 32 a lonely young man.

Said Tiwary and Cohen: “Peyton’s films are incredibly fun and entertaining, while still underscoring a serious empathy for the struggle for accomplishment, belonging, and the need to love and be loved… In brief, Peyton is simply the perfect director to take the Brian Epstein story to the big screen.” Reed is repped by WME and Robert Offer.