Sony Pictures has commissioned a new film from Jason Reitman based on the inaugural broadcast of “Saturday Night Live” in October 1975. Reitman, along with his “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” co-writer Gil Kenan, have written the original screenplay for the untitled “SNL” project, drawing on a series of interviews with the surviving cast, writers, and crew members from the show’s original production.
Reitman and Kenan’s partnership with Sony Pictures continues with the new project, as they are currently in production on a sequel to “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” set to release in theaters this December. Kenan is directing the follow-up to Reitman’s 2021 entry in the sci-fi comedy series. Following the success of “Afterlife,” which grossed $204 million globally against a $75 million production budget, the two collaborators signed an overall producing deal with Sony.
In addition to writing the screenplay, Reitman and Kenan will also produce the “SNL” film, alongside regular partners Jason Blumenfeld and Erica Mills. The four are currently working on the upcoming “Ghostbusters” sequel.
The first broadcast of “Saturday Night Live” on NBC on October 11, 1975, was hosted by George Carlin, with musical guests Billy Preston and Janis Ian. The episode featured comedy legends such as Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Laraine Newman, Michael O’Donoghue, and Gilda Radner, as well as George Coe, who would not appear as a cast member again. Comedian Andy Kaufman also performed on the episode.
The variety show was developed by Dick Ebersol, who hired Lorne Michaels as showrunner, a position he still holds on the long-running series.