Johnny Carson, one of America’s most beloved personalities, is set to receive his very own biopic series. Deadline has reported that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is attached to play Johnny Carson in a biopic series written by Deadwood creator David Milch and directed by Jay Roach.
The project, which is titled King of Late Night, will “follow the life and career of late-night TV pioneer Johnny Carson from New York to Los Angeles to the Las Vegas strip.” The series will reveal “how Johnny’s diehard connection to his audience overlapped with his lifelong desire for a basic quality of life, and how his beloved on-screen persona come into conflict with the more colorful aspects of his personal life.” Johnny Carson took over The Tonight Show from Jack Paar in 1962 and hosted the late-night show for thirty years until he retired and handed the reins to Jay Leno.
The Johnny Carson biopic series is a co-production between Anonymous Content and wiip and has been in the works for five years. David Milch was tapped by Annonymous Content to develop the series and had already been working on the script for several years before he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2019. Milch will also executive produce the series alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jay Roach. There have been several attempts at developing a Johnny Carson biopic over the years, but most were never able to get off the ground. Here’s hoping Gordon-Levitt, Milch, and Roach have better luck.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt can currently be seen starring as Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in Showtime’s Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber. The series depicts “the roller-coaster ride of the upstart transportation company, embodying the highs and lows of Silicon Valley. Even amid the radical upheaval generated within the global tech capital, Uber stands out as both a marvel and a cautionary tale, featuring internal and external battles that ripple with unpredictable consequences.” You can check out a review of Super Pumped from our own Alex Maidy right here.