An award-winning director, who has worked with Paul McCartney on music videos, is to direct a major British film about Brian Epstein, the visionary manager and impresario who took the music industry by storm in discovering stars from the Beatles to Gerry and the Pacemakers.
The film, titled Midas Man, will be directed by Jonas Åkerlund, who has won multiple Grammy awards.
It will tell the story of a Liverpudlian record-shop manager with a talent for forecasting hits and spotting future stars. Epstein signed the biggest band of all time, the Beatles, and discovered Cilla Black and Billy J Kramer, opening his own theatre to promote and launch the likes of Jimi Hendrix and the Who. His impact on popular music and culture resounds to this day.
The film’s producer, Trevor Beattie, told the Guardian: “Epstein’s one of the most extraordinary men of the 20th century. His story hasn’t been told properly. He’s often taken for granted by the wider world, but he was ahead of his time from his vision of music and popular culture through to gender identity. He was gay at a time when homosexuality was illegal. He lived a secret life. He made some risky decisions in handling the business of his stars … Compared with what Brian had to live in his life, [they were] not a risk.”
Epstein’s achievements are all the more extraordinary because he died aged just 32, in 1967, following a barbiturate overdose.
[Blogger’s note – I’ve been involved with the film for a few months now. I’ve met the producers and script writer and got them in touch with Freda Kelly – and I will hopefully get a credit as a ‘consultant’ ]