The mainstream view of the Beatles is about to get a lot gayer with the upcoming release of the graphic novel The Fifth Beatle and its immediate film adaptation following, chronicling the life of the bands gay, Jewish manager, Brian Epstein.
Credited for discovering and creating the signature style of the fab-four, Sir Paul McCartney once said “If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian.”
Sadly, the depressed and drug addicted Epstein died young in a time when homosexuality was a criminal offense and Jews were heavily ostracized.
Partnered with Freedom to Marry, the project aims to win over the hearts and minds of music lovers everywhere, while showing the consequences of denying people their basic human rights.
First-time graphic novelist and Tony Award Winning producer Vivek J. Walter (A Raisin in the Sun, American Idiot) relates to Epstein’s outsider status; himself being the son of Indian immigrants. “Epstein’s story and struggle served as an inspiration to me for years,” said Tiwary, an avid ally.
After The Fifth Beatle is realized by Dark Horse Comics on November 19th, a motion picture using the Beatles catalogue will launch production, spearheaded by Academy Award winning producer Bruce Cohen (American Beauty, Milk).
Cohen also happens to be the President of the American Foundation for Equal Rights. “I hope that by embracing the message of love that [The Beatles] are famous for and the talent of the gay man who made it all possible, viewers will get involved with Freedom to Marry,” says Cohen.
Tiwary shares Cohen’s expectation for audience action, “I’m hoping that The Fifth Beatle will inspire and point our readers and viewers in a direction where they can make an immediate and important difference.”
With England’s recent gay marriage victory and our own up hill climb, now is the perfect time to launch this project of love, love, love.