question of the day: Is Christopher Eccleston too old to play John Lennon?

Intriguing news from the Telegraph the other day:

Christopher Eccleston to play John Lennon in Beatles biopic

Former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston is to star as music legend John Lennon in a biopic set during the turbulent demise of The Beatles, it has been announced.

Lennon Naked covers the period from 1967 to 1971 when tensions within the band reached a peak and the star slipped into hard drug use.

Eccleston has already begun filming the 90-minute drama for BBC4.

Now, I’m as big a fan of Eccleston as they come, and I’m always delighted to see him in anything. But as the Telegraph goes on to point out:

At 45, the actor is a good 18 years older than the real Lennon would have been in 1967 and five years older than the musician at the time of his death in 1980.

Eccleston is a fantastic actor, and I have no doubt he can pull off portraying Lennon. But he can’t make himself look 20 years younger than he is. Is Christopher Eccleston too old to play John Lennon? Or does it not matter how old he is? Can a movie like this work when it’s all about the performance?

(And, and FYI, Naoko Mori — Torchwood’s Toshiko — will play Yoko Ono.)

Thanks to Ken for pointing out the Telegraph article to me.

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