Saturday Night Live has turned plenty of sketches into feature films — Wayne’s World, MacGruber, Coneheads, and unfortunately A Night at the Roxburry to name just a few— but the show itself has never been the subject of a fiction film before.
At least, not until Jason Reitman’s SNL 1975. The Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Juno director’s next project is reportedly about “about the debut night in October 1975 of the NBC sketch show that is currently airing its 49th season.”
Per The Hollywood Reporter, it also has an impressive cast of young talents taking on some of the famous figures in the real-life story of SNL, including The Fabelmans star Gabriel LaBelle playing show creator Lorne Michaels, Licorice Pizza’s Cooper Hoffman as NBC network executive Dick Ebersol, and Bottoms’ Rachel Sennott as SNL writer (and Michaels’ ex-wife) Rosie Shuster.
The film is supposedly based on interviews that Reitman and co-writer Gil Kenan did themselves with “all of the show’s living cast, scribes and crew.”
The original cast of SNL was Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Laraine Newman, Michael O’Donoghue, Gilda Radner, and the late John Belushi. (Actor George Coe also appeared as a cast member in just the first episode — so if Reitman’s film is just about that first night, theoretically he should appear in the movie as well.)
SNL is certainly a brand in American comedy, and its early days were quite fascinating, as chronicled previously in books like Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live by Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad and Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales. There’s definitely enough material there for a fiction movie — although finding actors who can convincingly play these very famous personalities (including Michaels himself) could be tricky.
LaBelle played a thinly veiled version of the young Steven Spielberg in The Fabelmans — which means this guy would have played both Spielberg and Lorne Michaels by the time he’s about 23. Pretty impressive.
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Gallery Credit: Emma Stefansky