Jay Leno will play the role of Ed Sullivan in the upcoming Brian Epstein biopic Midas Man.
Though Leno is best known for his long run hosting The Tonight Show, the comedian has ample acting experience. His early career credits include roles on the TV shows Laverne & Shirley and Alice, while he later made cameos as himself in a long list of films, such as Dave, Wayne’s World 2 and Wag the Dog. More recently, Leno appeared on the TV show Last Man Standing and provided voice work for the children’s animated series Mickey Mouse: Mixed-Up Adventures.
The Beatles made several appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show during the band’s rise to fame in the 1960s, and those TV performances will be part of the movie that’s in production now, with Leno in Sullivan’s hosting seat.
Leno and Sullivan each won Primetime Emmys during their hosting runs on late-night TV. The Ed Sullivan Show ran from 1948 through 1971 on CBS and won an Emmy in 1956. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno debuted in 1992 on NBC and ran through 2009, before once again returning for a second run which lasted from 2010 to 2014. The series won four Primetime Emmys during Leno’s tenure.
Watch the Beatles performing on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’
Midas Man went on hiatus earlier this month as director, Grammy-winning Swedish filmmaker Jonas Akerlund, steeped away the film. Sara Sugarman has been tabbed to take over in his place.
The film had been shooting in Liverpool since October, and it was previously announced that Jacob Fortune-Lloyd would portray Epstein in the lead role. Fortune-Lloyd played chess prodigy and journalist D.L. Townes in The Queen’s Gambit.
Beatles Albums Ranked
From the cheery ‘Please Please Me’ to the kinda dreary ‘Let It Be,’ we rank all of the group’s studio LPs.