Music Rights OK-ed For “Fifth Beatle”

Anyone who has had to clear song-permission rights for a play, book, or movie has got to salute Broadway producer Vivek Tiwary, who has been granted rights to use hit Beatles songs in a $25 million film about the group’s tragic manager Brian Epstein. Tiwary (The Addams Family, American Idiot) has landed those unprecedented rights to Beatles songs for his debut film, “The Fifth Beatle,” about manager Brian Epstein, whom Paul McCartney called the “fifth Beatle.” Epstein, a closeted gay man in the days when it was illegal in the U.K, suffered with his outsider status even as the band he managed because hugely famous. He died of a sedative overdose in 1967, a month after homosexuality was legalized in the U.K. Tiwary has been talking with Tom Kitt, composer of “Next to Normal,” about a stage musical of The Fifth Beatle. There is also a plan for a graphic novel from Dark Horse Entertainment. And he’s looking for a director (a source said Cameron Crowe and Gus Van Sant have passed).

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