I was amused and vaguely engaged by The Rutles, who flashed and then receded in 1978’s All You Need Is Cash. What was my reaction to the four Beatle-ish impersonators — Eric Idle, Ricky Fataar, John Halsey and Neil Innes? Meh, fine, whatevs — neither irritants nor charmers.

Sam Mendes’ not-yet-filmed or even written quartet of Beatles films will open in 2027, and my reaction to the four actors rumored to play the lads is, right now at least, vaguely defined by gloom and trepidation. My dominant thought is “are these guys going to create Fab Four impressions in a Rutleslike way…not in a satiric fashion, obviously, but in a way that sorta kinda underwhelms?”

Put another way, my basic attitude about the Mendes project —— and more particularly the casting of HE faves Paul Mescal and Barry Keohgan as Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr —- is partly hostile but mostly “I’d like to be able to survive this, but Jesus… really?”

Obviously very little physical resemblance — one of those submit-or-hate ensemble casting decisions that can’t hope to transport, much less astonish.

Harris Dickinson and Charlie Rowe might pass muster as John and George, but Mescal is too old (thick-featured, not slender enough, lacking that freshly-bloomed quality) to play 20something Paul, and the warlock-eyed, beestung-nosed Keohgan, 31, will be a total disaster as Ringo…way too old and certainly too satanic to become that easygoing, low-key, sad-eyed, vaguely frustrated guy in A Hard Day’s Night.

Ringo’s honker was bigger than Keohgan’s, but also narrower and much less of an eyesore.

I’m sorry but speaking as a Beatles fan the idea of two of HE’s most deeply loathed actors sullying the reputations of McCartney and Starr…talk about your tailspins of depression.

Tim Grierson has written that the zero-resemblance factor among the Mendes quartet is a “good” thing. I don’t know what he’s talking about. Okay, I do know but it’s not enough.

Note: Yes, the comment mechanism briefly stopped working, but now it’s working again. I thought it was repaired last night but not altogether. Kim is working on a solution as we speak.