Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Johnny Carsons personal life, whatever that was, to form the basis of a new movie

Although he was for decades a familiar, nightly presence in American living rooms—where he would just walk in and demand that people watch his TV show, or maybe he starts breaking stuff—Johnny Carson remained a very private person in his time away from The Tonight Show, generally avoiding socializing, keeping his opinions to himself, and notoriously refusing to cooperate with journalists interested in asking him softball questions for a change. But he did speak to Bill Zehme a few times after his retirement, and it's Zehme's upcoming Carson The Magnificent: An Intimate Portrait that could eventually form the basis of a biopic about Carson that's being developed by the late host's estate in conjunction with producer Tom Thayer and writer John McLaughlin, who recently teamed on Hitchcock. Like that movie, the Carson biopic will depend mightily on who they cast to do an impression of him—which should happen shortly after Toby Jones gets cast in a competing project—and will no doubt star Helen Mirren as Ed McMahon.


Of course, the lack of concrete details about Carson's off-screen life makes predicting the direction of the film somewhat difficult, even if we're pretty sure it will include some stuff about television. Although, it is interesting to note that McLaughlin also wrote Black Swan, then imagine Jay Leno waiting in Carson's wings in the Mila Kunis role, then imagine Jay Leno and Johnny Carson in a frenzied, passionate love scene, then immediately cease reading words forever.

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