"A biographical film about a famous old dead guy."
"What do you get when you combine the writer of the upcoming movie Hitchcock with the executive producer of Ghost Hunters?"
In conjunction with Johnny Carson's estate, writer John McLaughlin and producer Tom Thayer are putting together a feature film project about the life of the legendary Tonight Show host.
Scripted by McLaughlin, the biopic will be based on the book entitled Carson The Magnificent: An Intimate Portrait written by Bill Zehme, a journalist who has penned features on modern-day late-night rivals David Letterman and Jay Leno. Also the only journalist to be granted interviews with Carson after his retirement in 1992, Zehme appeared in the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary King of Late Night and will serve as a consultant on the film.
At this stage, McLaughlin is still hammering out the script, which will be shopped around to potential buyers after the holidays. Previously, he wrote the critically acclaimed 2010 film Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman and directed by Darren Aronofsky. Most recently, McLaughlin adapted Stephen Rebello's 1990 book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho into the film Hitchcock, due to be released in theaters on November 23.
In addition to producing the Carson biopic and Hitchcock, Thayer was an executive producer on the USA Network's 2005 revival of Kojak, as well as UFO Hunters, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters Academy, Ghost Hunters International, and Ghost Intervention. Sounds like he needed the intervention himself.
Despite his status as a familiar face to generations of television audiences, Johnny Carson was a very private person and not much about his personal life is known by most people. In fact, as sad as it is to say, I wonder if young people today even know who he is. Regardless, it should be an interesting film. It's just too bad Phil Hartman isn't around to play Ed McMahon...