EXCLUSIVE: Jay Leno is set to make a rare appearance in the Beatles movie manager Midas man, playing another famous television character, Ed Sullivan.
First Tonight’s show The host last appeared in a movie as a character other than himself back in the 1990s. He has, however, lent his voice to various animations, and his small screen roles include ABC. Last man standing.
Midas man, currently in production, stars The Queen’s Gambit co-star Jacob Fortune-Lloyd as Beatles manager Brian Epstein. The project traces Epstein’s role in the creative explosion of the 1960s and his considerable influence on pop music.
The Fab Four made several appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, including three in February 1964 that were among his first appearances in front of an American audience. His first appearance, on February 9, was seen by a record 73 million viewers and came to be regarded as a cultural landmark that helped launch American Beatlemania, as well as the broader British invasion.
The Ed Sullivan Show, which ran between 1948 and 1971, was the longest-running variety show in broadcasting history in the United States.
As we revealed last week, Midas man is back in pre-production after a forced hiatus as producers searched for a replacement for director Jonas Akerlund. Sara Sugarman (Confessions of a Teen Drama Queen) he’s just on board to direct.
The co-stars are Emily Watson, Eddie Marsan, Lukas Gage, Rosie Day, and Bill Milner.
Filming began last month in Liverpool, but had to be suspended for three weeks. The plan is to start filming again later this month and production will move to the US early next year.
Midas man is being produced by StudioPow and Trevor Beattie Films. Twickenham Studios Chairman Sunny Vohra and former Lionsgate UK Chairman Nicola Pearcey are among the executive producers. It is being made in association with Er Dong Pictures, which will distribute the film in China. Mister Smith handles worldwide sales and has signed a handful of international agreements. The original script is based on a film story by Brigit Grant and written by Jonathan Wakeham. Leno is represented by ICM.