The New York Times Bestselling Graphic Novel Will be Adapted for the Screen in 2014
New York, NEW YORK (December 4, 2013) – It was announced today that Peyton Reed (BRING IT ON, THE BREAK-UP) has signed on to direct THE FIFTH BEATLE, the film adaptation of the recently released New York Times best-selling graphic novel chronicling the final years of The Beatles’ founder and manager, Brian Epstein. The film is being produced by Academy Award winning producer, Bruce Cohen (AMERICAN BEAUTY, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK) and Tony Award winning producer, Vivek J. Tiwary (“A Raisin in the Sun,” Green Day’s “American Idiot”) who authored the graphic novel. This marks the first ever feature film about The Beatles to secure music rights to their songs granting unprecedented access to the Lennon/McCartney music catalog. The screenplay is written by Tiwary, the project is slated to begin production in 2014 and the casting of the Brian Epstein role will begin now that Reed is on board.
Reed’s big screen debut came in 2000 with the cheerleading sleeper hit, BRING IT ON. The film grossed $90 million worldwide, opening at number one and staying in the top 10 for seven weeks. Following the success of BRING IT ON, Reed was at the helm of 2003’s cult favorite DOWN WITH LOVE, starring Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor, and THE BREAK-UP, starring Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn, in 2006, which debuted at #1 and has grossed over $203 million globally. Most recently, in 2008, Reed directed YES MAN, starring Jim Carrey. The film opened number one at the box office, bringing in $18.3 million on opening weekend, and eventually grossing over $225 million worldwide.
“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. 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,” said Reed of his latest endeavor.
Tiwary and Cohen added, “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. We’re honored and excited to be working with him!”
THE FIFTH BEATLE recounts the untold true story of Epstein, the brilliant visionary who discovered The Beatles and helped guide the band to international stardom as their manager, securing their first record deal at a time when no one else was interested, and successfully bringing them to the world stage with a scale and scope no music impresario had ever attempted. Epstein’s boast—“The Beatles will be bigger than Elvis!”— seemed absurd in 1961, but proved humbly prophetic by 1967. When he died at the age of 32, he was an extremely successful artist manager and entertainment impresario, but a painfully lonely young man.
ABOUT PEYTON REED
Peyton Reed gained national attention with his feature directorial debut BRING IT ON (Universal). Starring Kirsten Dunst, this vibrant and inspired take on the politics of high school cheerleading won critical raves and opened at #1 with a $17.4 million weekend. It stayed in the top 10 for seven consecutive weeks, becoming the sleeper hit of summer 2000. It went on to sell over 5 million copies on DVD, spawning both a successful franchise for Universal and, most recently, a Broadway musical.
Reed followed it up with 2003’s DOWN WITH LOVE (20th Century Fox), a visually stunning homage to the sunny Rock Hudson/Doris Day comedies of the early sixties. The film, starring Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor, was critically acclaimed and has become a cult favorite.
In 2006, Reed helmed the smash hit THE BREAK-UP (Universal) starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston. The comedy/drama debuted at #1 with a $39 million opening weekend and went on to gross $118 million domestically and over $200 million worldwide. It was Universal’s highest-grossing film of 2006. 2008 saw Reed direct YES MAN (Warner Brothers) starring Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel and Bradley Cooper. The comedy opened at #1 domestically and became a worldwide hit, grossing over $225 million globally.
Originally from Raleigh, and a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Reed began his career as a documentary editor at ZM Productions. After writing and directing the award-winning short “Almost Beat” (1989), he directed a series of high profile behind-the-scenes documentaries, including THE SECRETS OF THE BACK TO THE FUTURE TRILOGY, THROUGH THE EYES OF FORREST GUMP and THE HONEYMOONERS ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL.
Reed went on to bring his wry wit and keen sense of visual invention to an incredibly diverse range of projects, from TV movies (THE COMPUTER WORE TENNIS SHOES, THE LOVE BUG) to music videos (She & Him, Superchunk, The Connells) to critically-hailed comedic television (HBO’s “Mr. Show with Bob and David”, Comedy Central’s “Upright Citizens Brigade”, Fox’s “New Girl”).
In addition, he has directed numerous commercials, including spots for Gap (with Sarah Jessica Parker), Target (with Isaac Mizrahi) and Cisco (with Ellen Page).
A lifelong drummer, Reed is also one half (along with fellow musician Norwood Cheek) of the recording duo Cardinal Family Singers. Their latest album, “This Is What We Did”, is available on iTunes and Amazon.
He currently resides with his wife in Los Angeles, California.
Peyton is represented by WME and Robert Offer.
ABOUT VIVEK J. TIWARY
Vivek J. Tiwary is a New York Times bestselling author and an award-winning producer of Broadway shows, film, television, and graphic novels.
He is the producer and writer of “The Fifth Beatle,” a New York Times best-selling graphic novel based on the life of Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein. “The Fifth Beatle” has secured unprecedented access to Beatles’ music and a feature film is in development to shoot in 2014. “The Fifth Beatle” will be produced by Academy Award-winning producer Bruce Cohen (AMERICAN BEAUTY, MILK, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK.)
Vivek is attached to lead produce a Broadway adaptation of Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill. The production will include the participation of Morissette, as well as that of Pulitzer and Tony award winner Tom Kitt.
In television, Vivek sold a sitcom pilot “Punk Rock Dad” to CBS, based on the bestselling memoir/parenting manual by Pennywise lead singer Jim Lindberg. He is developing a number of additional series including Amelia Rules! — a children’s film franchise and television series based on the series of tween graphic novels by New York Times best-selling author Jimmy Gownley.
On Broadway, Vivek’s productions have won a combined 25 Tony Awards from 44 Tony nominations—every single one of his shows have been decorated. They include “The Addams Family,” Green Day’s “American Idiot” (the groundbreaking adaptation of the superstar rock band’s multi-platinum album), Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” (the most Tony Awards ever) and “Young Frankenstein”, “A Raisin In The Sun” (starring Sean Combs), and “A Little Night Music” (starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury). Off-Broadway, Vivek produced a theatrical collaboration between electropop/performance artists Fischerspooner and avant-garde theatre collective The Wooster Group (founded by Willem Dafoe, Spalding Gray, and others) that launched the 2008 Sao Paulo Art Bienal.
Vivek also serves on the Board of Directors for Valiant Entertainment (www.valiantentertainment.com), a multi-platform company that boasts the third largest and most-loved universe of comic book characters and has been hailed by the New York Times as “Marvel 2.0”.
Prior to founding Tiwary Entertainment Group (www.tiwaryent.com) and online music education/empowerment company StarPolish, Vivek held a number of major label music-industry positions, including launching and heading the Alternative Marketing Department at Mercury/PolyGram Records, and managing Video Promotion for Mercury/PolyGram, where he worked closely with MTV and VH1. Vivek has worked with artists covering the entire musical spectrum including Bruce Springsteen, Shania Twain, Bon Jovi, Pearl Jam, Kiss, LL Cool J, John Mellencamp, Allen Ginsberg, Oasis, Hanson, 311 and The Mighty Mighty BossTones to name but a few.
Among many charitable pursuits, Vivek is the Co-Founder of Musicians On Call (www.musiciansoncall.org), a nonprofit organization that uses music and entertainment to complement the healing process.
Vivek is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of both the Wharton School of Business and the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Arts and Sciences. He also holds a filmmaking certificate from The New York Film Academy and is an acting student of Susan Batson/Black Nexxus Acting Studio.
Vivek is represented by Lawrence Mattis and David Alpert of Circle of Confusion.
ABOUT BRUCE COHEN
Bruce Cohen is an Academy Award-winning producer of film, television, and theater. He began his film career as the Directors Guild of America trainee on Steven Spielberg’s THE COLOR PURPLE (1985), and went on to serve as associate producer and first assistant director on Mr. Spielberg’s HOOK (1991). Cohen won the Best Picture Oscar for producing AMERICAN BEAUTY (1999). He earned additional Best Picture nominations for MILK (2008) and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (2012). AMERICAN BEAUTY, directed by Sam Mendes, won a total of five Oscars, as well as the Golden Globe, British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA), and Producers Guild of America (PGA) awards. MILK, directed by Gus Van Sant, was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won Oscars for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay, as well as the PGA’s Stanley Kramer Award. SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, written and directed by David O. Russell, was nominated for eight Oscars. It was the first film in 31 years to be nominated in all four acting categories, and Jennifer Lawrence won the Oscar in the Best Actress category.
Among the other films Bruce has produced is BIG FISH (2003), directed by Tim Burton, which was both a Golden Globe and BAFTA nominee for Best Picture. He is currently a lead producer of the stage musical version of BIG FISH, now on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theater, with direction and choreography by five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman.
In television, Cohen was executive producer of the ABC series PUSHING DAISIES, which won a total of seven Emmys and was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Comedy. He was also executive producer of the CBS special MOVIES ROCK and was nominated for an Emmy in 2011 for producing the 83rd ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS.
Cohen is on the Producer’s Council of the Producer’s Guild, having served two terms as vice president of motion pictures, and is on the Executive Committee of the Producer’s Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He is president of the Board of Directors of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group behind the recently successful Supreme Court case to have California’s Proposition 8 declared unconstitutional. He is married to Gabe Catone and they have a two year old daughter.
Press Contact: Rachel Depew – Rachel.Depew@42West.net