Bravo Media has put in development The Fifth Beatle, a limited event series from Universal Cable Productions and Sonar Entertainment, based on Tony-winning producer Vivek J. Tiwary’s critically praised bestselling graphic novel, The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story.
The book, published by Dark Horse Comics in 2013 with art by Andrew C. Robinson and Kyle Baker, explores the complicated personal life of legendary Beatles manager Brian Epstein, who helped catapult the Fab Four to international stardom.
Tiwary will pen the series adaptation and serve as executive producer along with Leopoldo Gout. The project includes Tiwary’s access to the John Lennon-Paul McCartney song catalog, the first Beatles-related biopic to secure such rights. Sonar optioned the rights to Tiwary’s book in 2016 for development as a multi-part event series.
The Fifth Beatle recounts the true story of Epstein, a brilliant yet often tormented dreamer who discovered the band in the Cavern Club in Liverpool, then nurtured, protected and guided them to unprecedented worldwide success. As a gay Jewish man living in 1960s England where homosexuality was a felony, Epstein was a double outsider who struggled to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. He was instrumental in the Fab Four’s rise to fame and saw their potential when no one else did. Yet behind the music, Epstein suffered from loneliness and his crushing desires to be one of the boys and belong. Epstein grew to become not only the engineer of Beatlemania, but also a key architect of the cultural revolution of the Sixties with his ambition to change the world and spread the Beatles’ messages of love and peace.
The announcement follows Bravo’s recent series greenlight of anthology series Dirty John, also from UCP, which will join the network’s original scripted slate including Imposters, returning for a sophomore season on April 5, and the fifth and final season of Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, premiering this summer.