Jonas Akerlund to Direct Brian Epstein Biopic 'Midas Man'

MICHAEL BUCKNER/DEADLINE/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
Jonas Akerlund

The film — which has also picked up Chinese distribution — will chronicle the role of The Beatles' famed manager in the cultural revolution of the 1960s.

A biopic of music visionary, impresario and iconic Beatles manager Brian Epstein is in the works, with Swedish filmmaker Jonas Akerlund tapped to direct. 

Midas Man will chart Epstein's role in the cultural revolution of the 1960s and highlight his unparalleled yet often uncelebrated influence on pop music.

Alongside guiding The Beatles to global domination, having famously first heard the band in Liverpool's Cavern Club in 1961, Epstein would also help discover such acts as Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy J Kramer and Cilla Black, while he would also open a theater to promote and launch the likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Cream and Pink Floyd. But his tumultuous career was tragically cut short. He died of an accidental drug overdose at just 32. 

"Brian Epstein’s story has everything I’m looking for in a story. ... It’s all about Brian’s singularity for me," said Akerlund, who recently turned to feature films with Lords of Chaos and Polar following a hugely successful career directing music videos, winning a Grammy Award for Madonna's "Ray of Light."

Akerlund will direct the film from an original screenplay by Brigit Grant (Red Top) and Jonathan Wakeham (Misanthrope). "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," he added. "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."

Midas Man is being produced by Trevor Beattie and Jeremy Chatterton at Trevor Beattie Films (Attacking the Devil, Nureyev, Spitfire) and Kevin Proctor and Perry Trevers at StudioPOW (Funny Cow, Cordelia). Peter Dunne and Mark Borkowski are executive producers. Twickenham Studios chairman and co-owner Sunny Vohra and managing partner Jeremy Rainbird will also serve as executive producers. Midas Man is being produced in association with Chinese production and talent company Er Dong Pictures, who will also be distributing the film in Greater China.

"Brian Epstein lived an epic life. He was a remarkable man whose life’s work was to make others more remarkable," said Beattie. "Jonas Akerlund is the perfect director for Midas Man. He has a rock & roll heart. Jonas understands music and the music industry. He has spent years wrangling a lot of Brian Epstein wannabes and now he gets to bring the original star maker back to life.”

Mister Smith Entertainment will be handling worldwide sales on the film

Due to a press release error, a previous version of this story misspelled the surnames of Jonathan Wakeham and Jeremy Chatterton.