New York, NEW YORK (September 30, 2013) – Academy Award winning producer Bruce Cohen will join Vivek J. Tiwary in producing THE FIFTH BEATLE, a film adaptation of Tiwary’s graphic novel of the same name to be released by Dark Horse Comics on November 19, 2013. Cohen won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2000 for AMERICAN BEAUTY and has been nominated twice more for MILK (2008) and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (2012). THE FIFTH BEATLE, screenplay written by Tiwary, will be the first feature film about The Beatles to obtain the rights to use their original songs and will begin production in 2014.
“I am thrilled to be joining Vivek to help bring the extraordinary true story of Brian Epstein to the screen. The combination of Vivek’s powerful script, Brian’s fascinating and complicated life and the unprecedented ability to use the Beatles’ original songs should make for a truly phenomenal film,” said Cohen.
The Fifth Beatle is an uplifting, tragic, and ultimately inspirational human story chronicling the life of Beatles manager Brian Epstein, of whom Sir Paul McCartney said, “If anyone was the Fifth Beatle, it was Brian.” The graphic novel is written by multiple Tony Award–winning producer Vivek J. Tiwary (Green Day’s American Idiot, The Addams Family, Mel Brooks’ The Producers) and painted by fanboy favorite Andrew C. Robinson (Dusty Star, King Conan, Starman, Superman) and multiple Eisner Award-winning cartoonist Kyle Baker (Why I Hate Saturn, Plastic Man, Nat Turner).
Tiwary said, “I’ve been researching and developing The Fifth Beatle for more than half my life– it’s a true labor of love! And I’m confident that the next stage in telling Brian Epstein’s story is in extremely capable hands with Bruce, whose sensibilities and talents are simply perfect for The Fifth Beatle. You could say I’m a Bruce Cohen fan– so I’m elated to see The Fifth Beatle coming to life as a film under his guidance!”
Cohen will join Tiwary, Robinson, bestselling author and founding editor of Creem Magazine Dave Marsh, and top record producer David Kahne (Paul McCartney, Fishbone, Sublime) in the New York Comic Con panel discussion “Spotlight on The Fifth Beatle: The Story of Brian Epstein” on October 11, 2013.
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 Board of Governors 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.
ABOUT VIVEK J. TIWARY
Vivek J. Tiwary is an award-winning producer, writer, and financier for film, television, theater, music, and graphic novels. He is the producer and writer of “The Fifth Beatle,” a feature film and graphic novel based on the life of Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein. “The Fifth Beatle” has secured unprecedented access to Beatles’ music and is in development to shoot in 2014. He is also exclusive producer of 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. 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, and he is developing a number of additional series including “Ascension,” a historical fiction / thriller juxtaposing the history of astronomy with mankind’s future in the stars. 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. He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of both the Wharton School of Business and the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Arts and Sciences. Vivek also holds a filmmaking certificate from The New York Film Academy and is an acting student of Susan Batson/Black Nexxus Acting Studio.
Tiwary is represented by David Alpert and Lawrence Mattis at Circle of Confusion and Cohen is represented by CAA.
For more information please visit: WWW.THEFIFTHBEATLE.COM
Press Contact: Rachel Depew – Rachel.Depew@42West.net