Hello, Good Evening, and Remain Mindful of Social Distancing Protocols! It’s been a while since I’ve written an article that isn’t in some way touched by the pandemic, but suddenly, a story about a biopic of the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein drops in my lap.
The movie, called Midas Man, is to be directed by Jonas Åkerlund, director of a few films (of which Lords of Chaos is the only one to have a fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes), concert films from artists from Madonna to Roxette to Paul McCartney, and a lot of music videos, most famously Madonna’s “Ray of Light,” and, including a couple personal favourites like:
- “Mein Land” by Rammstein, with its very incongruous image of the boys from East Berlin in the style of an Early 60s beach movie (He’s also done a couple others, including, “Pussy,” which I’m fairly certain Jonathan would never allow on the site.)
- “Smack My Bitch Up” by The Prodigy, a video which I cannot find in full on YouTube, possibly because of its controversial nature and possibly because it’s been copyright-struck off the platform.
- “Canned Heat” by Jamiroquai, whose dance moves are even more complicated than the ones Napoleon Dynamite would give the song a few years later.
- “Lonely Road” by Paul McCartney, which is not exactly a favourite, but is very germane to the subject matter of the article, what with its being related to the Beartles:
The film’s producer Trevor Beattie calls Midas Man “an emotional, witty, heartfelt story of the joy of success and the terrifying pressures of unspeakable risk and unfulfilled desire.”
Quoth Jonas Åkerlund: “Brian Epstein’s story has everything I’m looking for in a story…. it’s all about Brian’s singularity for me. 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. 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.”
Beattie also added: “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.”
Frankly, Brian Epstein’s tended to be treated as a side character in the Beatles’ story, and I can find a very interesting story in it, especially with the way his story managing the most successful band in history intersects with his homsexuality.
The film has not yet been shot, but will be shot in London, Liverpool, and America and is planned to be released next year. Besides Åkerlund as director, Brigit Grant and Jonathan Wakeham have written the script; Peter Dunne Mark Borkowski, Sunny Vohra, and Jeremy Rainbird will produce it; and Dan Hubbard will cast the film. This is all we know for now, and hopefully, they’ll find a way to make it.