Benedict Cumberbatch, the star of the BBC/PBS Sherlock has done the best male imitation of Annie Carnes in Oklahoma. He just can’t say no. I only say selfishly because the more Benedict’s star keeps rising and the more he says yes to projects such as The Hobbit, Star Trek, War Horse, Parades End and Tinker Tailor, the longer we have to wait for the likes of any new Sherlock brilliance.
Both the BBC and The Hollywood Reporter are reporting that Cumberbatch has been cast in the big-screen biography of Brian Epstein, the manager of the Beatles when they first started out. Often referred to as “the fifth Beatle”, Epstein was instrumental in the birth of the group, their iconic look and style and their emergence as the most popular musical act on the planet. In 1967, at the height of Beatlemania, Epstein died of an overdose, in what many believe was a suicide. Tom Hanks will produce and Paul McGuigan will direct. Cumberbatch should feel right at home with McGuigan given he has directed four of the six episodes of Sherlock. Producers describe the film as the story of “the man who threw the biggest party of the 1960s but ultimately forgot to invite himself.”
Interestingly, the news of the Tom Hanks project surfaces just as another Brian Epstein film, dubbed The Fifth Beatle, is coming together from author Vivek J. Tiwary, who will write and produce a big-screen adaptation of his graphic novel. That project has secured the rights to inlude Beatles songs from Sony/ATV, which controls the John Lennon/Paul McCartney music catalogue.
While it might seem odd at first, only the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hanks and Paul McGuigan might just actually be able to pull of a Fifth Beatle biopic with no Beatles music anywhere in sight….