Word has it that the Johnny Carson estate is working with screenwriter John McLaughlin (Black Swan, Hitchcock) and producer Tom Thayer (Hitchcock) to bring the Tonight Show host’s life story to the big screen. You didn’t have to be Carnac the Magnificent to see this one coming. Based off of the Bill Zehme book Carson The Magnificent: An Intimate Portrait, the McLaughlin adaptation will be shopped early next year. Hit the jump for more on the Carson biopic.
News on the Johnny Carson biopic came to us via Deadline. Zehme, who has also written about the feud between late night hosts Jay Leno and David Letterman, was the only journalist who managed to get Carson talking after his retirement. Zehme both consulted on and appeared in the PBS Carson documentary, King of Late Night, which earned an Emmy nod. His book on Carson had been delayed over the years and is not yet available to the public, but McLaughlin is apparently already at work on adapting it. Central to the adaptation may be the contrast between Carson’s widespread professional fame, due to his appearance on household television sets, and his more private personal life. A legend in the late night game, his departure left an odd and fascinating controversy in his wake with the battle for the Tonight Show throne. For fans of Carson and his sidekick/announcer Ed McMahon, take to the comments to let us know who should play both of them in the picture. If you’re not familiar with Carson or his most famous of gimmicks, Carnac the Magnificent, we’ve provided a sample below: