A new movie chronicling the life of Beatles manager Brian Epstein has found its director. The project, titled Midas Man, will be helmed by multi-Grammy winner Jonas Akerlund.
Epstein has commonly been referred to as “the fifth Beatle,” a title bestowed due to his invaluable role in making the Fab Four the biggest band in the world. The manager discovered the group, signed it to its first contract and oversaw the Beatles’ rise in fame. Epstein’s story is also one of tragedy, as he spent years hiding his homosexuality and died of a drug overdose at the age of 32.
“Brian Epstein’s story has everything I’m looking for in a story,” Akerlund told Variety. “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.”
Akerlund has a long and varied resume, with many major music videos to his name. The director has helmed work for Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, U2, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Duran Duran, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Madonna and Taylor Swift.
Midas Man producer Trevor Beattie noted that Akerlund had a “rock ‘n’ roll heart,” and “understands music and the music industry,” making him a natural choice for the Epstein film.
Midas Man will be shot in London, Liverpool and the U.S., with release scheduled for 2021.
This is not the first time Epstein’s story has been slated for a big-screen adaptation. In 2013, a film called The Fifth Beatle – based on the graphic novel of the same name – announced that Peyton Reed would direct. It has since evolved into a television project, with Bravo acquiring the rights. Reed, whose credits include Bring It On, Yes Man and Ant-Man is no longer aligned with that project.