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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.


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A Hotel that was the ex-home of Beatles manager Brian Epstein are among the fascinating businesses up for sale in Liverpool right now.

It may be a difficult time for businesses in most sectors after a hugely challenging 2020 and with Brexit on the horizon, but some entrepreneurs may still be thinking about an investment to start the new year.
And for those lucky enough to have a significant amount of cash in the bank, there are plenty of opportunities available right across the city.

This Liverpool hotel – the former home of Beatles manager Brain Epstein, was put on the market in summer 2019, and is still available at an asking price of £835,000.

With nine ‘deluxe’ en-suite rooms and with a car park on site, the three-storey, Beatles-themed venue opened back in 2003, is a stone’s throw from the football stadium.


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Jonas Åkerlund-directed Midas Man to be produced by Trevor Beattie and shot in Liverpool.

“Midas Man” will be shot in London, Liverpool and the U.S. for release in 2021. Worldwide sales will be handled by Mister Smith Entertainment.The original screenplay was written by Brigit Grant and Jonathan Wakeham. The casting director is Dan Hubbard.

An award-winning director, who has worked with Paul McCartney on music videos, is to direct a major British film about Brian Epstein, the visionary manager and impresario who took the music industry by storm in discovering stars from the Beatles to Gerry and the Pacemakers.

The film, titled Midas Man, will be directed by Jonas Åkerlund, who has won multiple Grammy awards.

It will tell the story of a Liverpudlian record-shop manager with a talent for forecasting hits and spotting future stars. Epstein signed the biggest band of all time, the Beatles, and discovered Cilla Black and Billy J Kramer, opening his own theatre to promote and launch the likes of Jimi Hendrix and the Who. His impact on popular music and culture resounds to this day.

The film’s producer, Trevor Beattie, told the Guardian: “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.”

Epstein’s achievements are all the more extraordinary because he died aged just 32, in 1967, following a barbiturate overdose.
Beattie said: “Epstein first met the Beatles in November 1961, when he was 25, and he was dead in August 1967. It is a tragic story. But it’s also life-affirming, a triumph for the human spirit because, in those few short years, he changed popular culture forever.”

His previous productions include the Bafta-winning Moon, starring Oscar-winner Sam Rockwell, and the acclaimed feature documentary, Nureyev.

For almost two years, he has been researching Epstein, talking to people who knew him, including Gerry Marsden, of Gerry and the Pacemakers: “He told me stories that haven’t been printed yet and that we’ll introduce into our film.”

Some relate to artists that Epstein encountered at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool, where Cilla Black was a hat-check girl: “Gerry said that Cilla would run up on the stage between Gerry and the Pacemakers and the Beatles and that she saw herself as a rocker. Brian said, ‘no, you’re a balladeer’. He changed the angle on her.”

He said of the Beatles: “It all started in 1961 at the Cavern. Brian saw four scruffy lads in leather jackets, drinking, smoking and swearing on stage. What’s fascinating is that, when he discovered them, there were no [John] Lennon/McCartney songs. They were singing Chuck Berry and Little Richard songs. Brian saw their potential. Today, we would say ‘he packaged them’. He put them in suits and turned their scruffiness into that Beatles look, with the mop-top haircut.”

Previous attempts to make an Epstein film have failed to get off the ground. But this production is collaborating with Liverpool, where much of it will be filmed, and it has received the boost of a multi-million-pound investment from China, where the Beatles and the 1960s look, sound and style remain hugely popular. Casting has begun and Midas Man will be released in cinemas next year.



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Brian Epstein’s personal copy of The Beatles first demo tape will be offered for sale at Sotheby’s next month, in a special auction dedicated to the Fab Four.

The tape, which the band recorded for Decca Records on January 1, 1962, was famously rejected by A&R boss Dick Rowe who told Epstein that “guitar bands are on the way out”.

This version of the demo recording is unique, with slightly longer versions of songs which mark it out as being Brian Epstein’s personal copy.

The reel-to-reel tape was one of two given to Epstein following the failed studio session, and the only one to survive.

Offered with superb provenance, the tape is now is expected to sell for £50,000 – £70,000 ($65,000 – $91,000)

Having learned their trade in the bars of Hamburg, and honed their act as local stars in Liverpool, The Beatles then set out to earn themselves a record contract under the stewardship of new manager Brian Epstein.

On January 1, 1962 the Band drove through snowstorms from Liverpool to London to record their first professional demo for Decca Records (whilst Epstein wisely took the train).

Although dismayed to discover their studio producer was inexperienced, late and hung-over from the night before, the band carried on and rattled through 15 tracks in an hour.

The session was essentially a run-through of their live Cavern Club sets, with covers such as Money and Memphis, Tennessee alongside three early original songs Like Dreamers Do, Hello Little Girl and Love Of The Loved.

Decca turned down the demo and signed Brian Poole and the Tremeloes instead, because they were local to London and would cost less than transporting The Beatles down from Liverpool to record.

Although disappointed, Epstein refused to give up and took the demo tape to his friend Robert Boast, manager of the HMV record store in London, which had a small recording studio and pressing plant in the basement.

There he pressed two of the original Lennon-McCartney songs, Hello Little Girl and Till There Was You, onto a series of acetate records to hand out to record label executives.

Six weeks later he gave one of the discs to EMI producer George Martin, and the rest is rock and roll history.

In March 2016, the very acetate that Epstein gave to George Martin sold at Omega Auctions for £77,500 ($110,000), where it was described as a “Holy Grail” item for Beatles collectors.

Given the tape’s personal connection to Brian Epstein, and the central role it played in shaping The Beatles’ career, it would be no surprise to see it surpass the high estimate and fetch a six-figure sum come December 13.