IM Global is joining with Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment to co-produce a film based on The Fifth Beatle graphic novel by Vivek J. Tiwary, Kyle Baker, and Andrew Robinson.  Tiwary, who wrote the graphic novel biography of the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein, has written the screenplay for the film and is also producing along with Simon Cowell.  Dark Horse Comics published The Fifth Beatle graphic novel in 2013 and has a trade paperback edition of the book slated for release in October.

Academy Award-winning producer Bruce Cohen (American Beauty) had obtained the rights to The Fifth Beatle back in 2013 (see “The Fifth Beatle Biopic”) even before the book was published, but according to Variety, Cohen, who had obtained the rights to use the original Beatles songs (which have been passed on to the current producers), is not involved in the current version. 

However this biopic of the “man behind the Beatles” may well have found a sympathetic replacement for Cohen in music impresario Cowell, who posted the following: “I have always been fascinated by Brian Epstein – and his story. He played a huge role in the Beatles’ incredible success – and, I believe, remains the most talented manager ever. Yet his story has never been fully told. Also, like everyone across the world, I have so much respect for the Beatles and their music. So to be given the chance to be involved in this project was one I just could not pass up.”