Senator John McCain, Jay Leno. (NBC/NBC)

(The film, premering March 10 and based on the book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, stars Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin, and Ed Harris as McCain.)

“Now, this movie ‘Game Change,’” said Leno, by way of an opening segue. “It comes on HBO next week.”

“I hope it’s one of those silent ones,” McCain joked.

“No, it’s not, it’s not silent,” Leno said. “But it deals with Sarah Palin and the whole election. Are you going to watch the movie?”

McCain’s answer hasn’t changed: “No.”

Jay seemed surprised. “No? No?”

“No,” McCain assured him. “I heard enough about the book that it’s taken from — unattributed quotes, unnamed sources. But it’s a free country.”

Leno then assured McCain that he came off “very good” and as “a gentleman” in the movie.

This week, HBO sent a letter to the press in defense of the film, saying that “HBO has a long track record of producing fact-based dramas, going to great lengths to get the story right,” and when the book was released two years ago, “It went unchallenged and unrefuted by the Palin camp.”

Here’s McCain on “The Tonight Show”: