‘SNL 1975’ Movie: Everything Fans Need to Know About the ‘SNL’ Origin Story Film

SNL 1975 Movie

With a show as legendary as Saturday Night Live, it’s not surprising that the series’ origin story is making its way to the big screen with SNL 1975. The upcoming film will dive into the origins of the show and the cast members who were part of it. With insights from the original cast members and crew, fans of the show are in for a walk down memory lane!

Here’s what we know so far about SNL 1975!

SNL 1975 Movie in the Works

In 2023, it was announced that a movie telling the origins of Saturday Night Live, SNL 1975, was set to be made, with Sony Pictures making the film.

Jason Reitman is directing the flick and co-wrote the script along with Gil Kenan. That script is based on extensive interviews by Reitman and Kenan with all the living original cast members and crew. Jason Blumenfeld, Erica Mills, and Peter Rice also serve as producers alongside Reitman and Kenan.

Saturday Night Live first premiered on October 11, 1975, on NBC, with comedian George Carlin serving as its first-ever host. The original cast members at the time included John Belushi, Dan Akyroyd, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Laraine Newman, Gilda Radner, Michael O’Donoghue, and George Coe. But at the time, the series went by a different name, NBC’s Saturday Night. This was because ABC was running a show called Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell.

The show officially changed its title to the one that we all know today in 1977.

“While SNL’s inaugural season was an experiment on live comedy, it formed the basis for what’s become an institution. And its success was propelled by its young, mostly unknown cast,” said NBC about the show’s premiere.

What Will the Movie Be About?

The description from Deadline for SNL 1975 reads:

“On October 11, 1975, a ferocious troupe of young comedians and writers changed television forever. SNL 1975 is the true story of what happened behind the scenes that night in the moments leading up to the first broadcast of NBC’s SNL. It depicts the chaos and magic of a revolution that almost wasn’t, counting down the minutes in real-time to the infamous words, ‘Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!’”

The show’s first broadcast was famously known for going off the rails. Several sketches were cut for being inappropriate or too risky to broadcast live. The premiere episode also included short films by Albert Brooks, which were ultimately discontinued. Carlin, the first host, did three monologues but could not take part in the sketches because of his intoxicated state.

Paul Simon also made a cameo to promote his upcoming hosting gig on the show. Billy Preston and Janis Ian were the musical guests, with Andy Kaufman as a guest star.

Who Is Starring in SNL 1975?

An ensemble cast is taking shape for the SNL 1975. Lamorne Morris, Dylan O’Brien, Cory Michael Smith, and Matt Wood are confirmed to star. Morris is set to portray Garrett Morris, while O’Brien will play Dan Aykroyd. Smith is set to play Chevy Chase, and Wood will be playing the late John Belushi. They are joining Gabriel Labelle, who plays Lorne Michaels, and Cooper Hoffman as Dick Ebersol.

Ella Hunt has been cast as Gilda Radner, while Emily Fairn will play Laraine Newman. Kim Matula is set to portray Jane Curtin, while Rachel Sennott will play Rosie Shuster. Nicholas Braun, Tommy Dewey, and Nicholas Podany were also confirmed to join the cast. Braun plays Jim Henson, Dewey will portray Michael O’Donoghue, and Podany as Billy Crystal.

Labelle is known for playing director Steven Spielberg in The Fabelmans. Hoffman is known for starring in Licorice Pizza. Sennott previously appeared in Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, Bottoms, and The Idol. Hunt is known for her roles in Cold Feet and Dickinson, while Matula is known for starring in The Bold and the Beautiful.

Morris is currently in the FX series Fargo and is known for his roles in New Girl, Unstable, and Woke. Fairn is known for her appearances in Black Mirror, Cobra, and The Responder. O’Brien, known for starring in Teen Wolf and the Maze Runner movies, recently starred in Ponyboi, Not Okay, The Outfit, and Love and Monsters.

Smith is known for playing Edward Nygma/The Riddler in Gotham. His latest projects were May December and Transatlantic. Wood appeared in the original Broadway productions of SpongeBob SquarePants and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The actor has also appeared in Law & Order: SVU, Instinct, and Difficult People.

Finn Wolfhard
Photo Credit: Debby Wong

Newest Cast Additions

The latest additions to the SNL 1975 cast include Kaia Gerber, Stranger Things‘ Finn Wolfhard, and Andrew Barth Feldman. Gerber is stepping into the role of Jacqueline Carlin, Wolfhard’s taking a spin as an NBC page, and Andrew Barth Feldman? He’s our Neil Levy.

What to Expect from the Film?

Aside from the cast and the plot, other details of SNL 1975 are still unclear. Jane Curtin previously revealed that she rewatched a compilation of her time on the show and was disappointed.

“Not one thing was funny,” the actress told People at the time, sharing that she was visiting her daughter and son-in-law during Christmas when they rewatched her old clips.

“So we sat around the TV, and I had that sort of anticipatory, open-mouth grin that people have when they’re waiting for something to happen, that they know is going to be really great,” said Curtin. “And…it never happened. It wasn’t funny. Not one thing was funny. There was not one utterance of a laugh or giggle.”

“I think it was just one of those, you had to be there in the moment things. That’s what happens with live TV and with topical TV. It gets dated after a while. Remember, this was almost 50 years ago. But after we rewatched, I was like, ‘That really wasn’t a very good show. It was terrible!’” shared Curtin.

SNL 1975 Release Date Speculation

There’s no official release date yet for the SNL 1975 movie. Production is expected to start on March 18 and run through May. The project is filming in New York and Fayetteville, Georgia, under the working title “Wolverines.” The working title is a reference to the show’s very first sketch.

As filming is underway for the film, it has the potential to mark the show’s 50th anniversary with an October 2025 release. Saturday Night Live is available to stream on NBC’s Peacock streaming service in the US.

Meanwhile, Reitman and Kenan are working on the sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Kenan is directing the sequel, which follows the original Ghostbusters movies and Afterlife.

“It’s an absolute honor to pick up the proton pack and step behind the camera for the next chapter of the Spengler family saga,” said Kenan at the time of the announcement. “I just wish I could go back to 1984 and tell the kid in the sixth row of the Mann Valley West that one day he was going to get to direct a Ghostbusters film.”

McKenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon, and Paul Rudd are returning for the sequel. Ernie Hudson will also be reprising his role as Dr. Winston Zeddemorre as well as William Atherton as the EPA inspector Walter Peck.


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