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Paul McCartney helped producer land Beatles music rights for Epstein biopic

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Dec 19, 2013 | 10:15am EST

Sir Paul McCartney has been credited with helping Broadway producer Vivek Tiwary score the rights to use the Beatles' music in a planned biopic about legendary Fab Four manager Brian Epstein, after his requests to publishing bosses were repeatedly snubbed. Tiwary detailed Epstein's life story in last year's (12) graphic novel The Fifth Beatle, and he has been working on adapting the project for the big screen for years. However, he struggled to secure permission to use a handful of Beatles songs for the movie soundtrack for some time, until his letters finally reached surviving Beatle Sir Paul McCartney. The rocker checked out Tiwary's comic book and became such a big fan, he greenlit the request himself and enlisted the backing of former bandmate Ringo Starr, John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono and George Harrison's widow Olivia, too. Tiwary tells BlogtalkRadio.com, "One of the exciting things about the film is that we got music rights; the sign-off from Paul, Ringo, Yoko and Olivia Harrison, which allowed us to do a deal with (bosses at publishing company) Sony ATV. "We are literally the first and only film in history to have gotten those rights. It took me three years and I literally, in my momentos, have four rejection letters. I just kept going until I got to Paul McCartney. He loves the book. He's very protective of the Beatles' legacy and he's been very, very warm in recent years about Brian's memory. It's Paul who very famously said, 'If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian.'" Tiwary admits he was "a little nervous" to receive feedback on the comic from McCartney, but his fears quickly melted away: "He loved it. He was also very moved in particular that Andrew C. Robinson, the artist (for the graphic novel), painted every single page on a canvas. "In fact, one of Paul's lesser known songs is Magneto vs. Titanium Man so he's literally a hardcore comic book guy. It was a great thrill to know that he is a supporter of the book. He wrote us a lovely note and I'm very humbled and honoured by that." Bring It On filmmaker Peyton Reed has been hired to direct The Fifth Beatle, which is due to begin production next year (14). Epstein died of a drug overdose in 1967. Casting details have yet to be announced. David Angus played the manager in 1991's The Hours & Times and Rory Kinnear portrayed Epstein in 2010's Lennon Naked.

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