Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, who played chess prodigy and journalist D.L. Townes in The Queen’s Gambit, has been announced in the lead role of Brian Epstein in the biopic Midas Man when it begins shooting later this year.
The unofficial film, based on the life and times of the Beatles’ manager, has been in production for some time. It will be directed by multiple Grammy winner Jonas Akerlund, best known for music videos including Ozzy Osbourne’s “Under the Graveyard,” which was designed as a form of backdoor pilot for the Black Sabbath singer’s own movie.
“It’s a huge privilege to play Brian Epstein, a man who made such an important and lasting cultural impact but who struggled to find a secure place in a world he helped to shape,” Fortune-Lloyd said during a media announcement. “He was a fascinating person with great talent, ambition and courage, and I’m so honored to be given the opportunity to represent him. … Jonas is the perfect person to bring this story to life, his work is visually stunning, visceral and bold. I can’t wait to start working together.”
Akerlund noted that “it is a tall order to fill Brian’s shoes, and Jacob is the perfect performer. He is charismatic and dark at the same time, balancing that emotional range where you’re not sure if you’re in love with him or terribly empathetic with the inner turmoil of his character. No one could bring Brian to life better.”
Epstein managed the Beatles from 1962 until his death in 1967. In that short period, he propelled the band to stardom and became regarded as their fifth member. He died as a result of a drug overdose at 32, leaving a void in the group’s organization that contributed to its official split in 1970.