For the first time since the ’90s, Jay Leno will appear on the big screen playing someone other than himself. This particular casting choice is pretty meta, as the former Tonight Show host has been tapped to play another much-celebrated TV personality, Ed Sullivan, in Midas Man, a forthcoming biopic about Beatles manager Brian Epstein.
Midas Man, which documents Epstein’s role in the career of The Beatles and the shape of pop music that followed, is currently in production. Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, known for his recent role in The Queen’s Gambit, will play Epstein.
Leno is likely to make an impactful appearance in the film, considering the band’s February 1964 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show marks one of the most important moments (if not the most important) in bringing Beatlemania to the US, as well as the British Invasion as a whole. The Ed Sullivan Show ran from 1948 to 1971, making it the longest-running variety show in US broadcast history at the time.
Midas Man will be directed by Sara Sugarman. Its cast is rounded out by Emily Watson, Eddie Marsan, Lukas Gage, Rosie Day, and Bill Milner. Stay tuned here for more information about the film as it gets released.
Aside from hosting The Tonight Show between 1992 and 2009, Leno has made one-off appearances as himself in a number of television shows, such as The West Wing, Friends, Hannah Montana, Entourage, and The Simpsons. He’s also done a few voice acting roles in shows like The Fairly OddParents and Jacob Two-Two.