Keeping it in the hosting family, Jay Leno has signed on to play Ed Sullivan in Midas Man, the in-the-works film centered around Beatles manager Brian Epstein, Deadline reports. This will be an extra special role for the ex-Tonight Show host as his appearances in film and TV are few and far between when he is not playing himself. While Leno hasn’t performed as a character in a larger role since the 90s, he has lent his vocal talents to several animated characters such as The Fairly OddParents' The Crimson Chin. Leno has also held a few smaller roles in non-animated productions including ABC’s Last Man Standing.
Midas Man will tell the story of Epstein, who helped launch the Fab Four to superstardom and left his own stamp on not only the world of pop music, but also the decade of the 1960s as a whole. Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, who was recently seen starring in The Queen’s Gambit, will portray the iconic manager. Along with Leno and Fortune-Lloyd, we know that Emily Watson, Eddie Marsan, Lukas Gage, Rosie Day, and Bill Milner will also be joining the ensemble. Despite the setback of losing director Jonas Akerlund in early November, the project is getting back on track with a new director, Sara Sugarman (Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen).
The Beatles and The Ed Sullivan Show have quite a history together. The group’s first time on the variety show was on February 9, 1964 and brought in a whopping 73 million viewers which was record breaking at the time. This performance was thought to have been the American takeoff point for the band and thus, Beatlemania was born. The Beatles would go on to perform on The Ed Sullivan Show on many more occasions over the years, including twice more in 1964. Along with ushering in Beatlemania, the first, record-shattering performance was thought to have opened up the floodgates for other British bands in what would become known as the British Invasion.
The Ed Sullivan Show featured some of the most well-known acts of the time during its run from 1948 to 1971. Along with the Fab Four, Sullivan hosted the likes of Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, The Jackson 5, The Mamas and the Papas, and many more. The show still holds the bragging rights of the longest-running variety show in U.S. history.
Although there is no release date yet for this Epstein biopic, we are excited to hear the announcement that production is underway and that even more talented actors are being added to the bill.
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