The Queen’s Gambit actor Jacob Fortune-Lloyd is set to play late Beatles manager Brian Epstein in a new film.
As first reported in The Daily Mail, the actor, who played chess prodigy and later journalist Townes in Netflix smash The Queen’s Gambit, will play Epstein in the biopic Midas Man, which is to be directed by Jonas Akerlund.
Akerlund is a Swedish director best known for working with Madonna on the Grammy award-winning ‘Ray Of Light’ music video as well as with other artists including Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Rammstein and The Prodigy.
The unauthorised biography of Epstein, who was the Beatles manager from 1962 until his death in 1967, is set to start filming later this year at Twickenham Studios and on location in London, Liverpool and America.
According to Deadline, the film will “chart Epstein’s…role in the cultural revolution and creative explosion of the 1960s and his sizeable yet often unheralded influence on pop music.”
As well as managing The Beatles, Epstein also worked with a number of artists including Gerry and the Pacemakers, Cilla Black and Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas. Epstein died of an accidental drug overdose in 1967; he was 32-years-old.
Speaking about the upcoming film and Fortune-Lloyd’s casting, director Akerlund said: “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.”
Fortune-Lloyd added: “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.
“He was a fascinating person with great talent, ambition, and courage, and I’m so honoured 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.”
The film’s producer, Trevor Beattie, told The Guardian last year: “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.”
Meanwhile, this week has seen the release of Paul McCartney’s ‘McCartney III: Imagined‘ – containing reworked songs from his recent album, with tracks by Beck, St. Vincent, Josh Homme, Anderson .Paak and more.
In a four-star review of the album, NME concluded:” ‘McCartney III: Imagined’ is another fine entry into the self-titled collection. The sheer star-power and respect from contemporaries and newbies is another flex that proves the endeavour, which started over 51 years ago, was a worthy one.”