‘SNL 1975’ Origin Film Casts for Lorne Michaels & More + Who He Wants to Take Over the Show

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, Lorne Michaels, producer, on set, circa 1990s.
Kwaku Alston/NBC/TV Guide /courtesy Everett Collection

A film about the origin story of the long-running sketch show Saturday Night Live is in the works. Jason Reitman and Gil Kenan wrote the script for SNL 1975, based on the behind-the-scenes accounts of the show’s opening night. Reitman is directing the movie and has now cast several of its stars. Gabriel LaBelle will portray SNL head Lorne Michaels while Cooper Hoffman will play Dick Ebersol and Rachel Sennott will play Rosie Shuster.

The film will showcase the chaos of trying to get the live show off the ground and running and the moments behind the curtain on October 11, 1975. The screenplay was written based on interviews with all of the living cast, crew, and writers from that night. In addition, SNL 1975 has cast Ella Hunt as Gilda Radner, Emily Fairn as Laraine Newman, Kim Matula as Jane Curtin, Lamorne Morris as Garrett Morris, Dylan O’Brien as Dan Aykroyd, Cory Michael Smith as Chevy Chase, and Matt Wood as John Belushi.

Gabriel LaBelle attends Variety Power of Young Hollywood at NeueHouse Los Angeles on August 10, 2023 in Hollywood, California

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

There is a lot of buzz surrounding the cast, especially LaBelle as this is his first major studio film. His breakout role was in the 2022 film The Fabelmans, loosely based on the life of Steven Spielberg. As the news of the SNL origin movie came out, Michaels also opened up about who he’d like to eventually take over the show as he may be nearing retirement.

Producer Lorne Michaels and Lindsay Lohan attend the Global Premiere of "Mean Girls" at the AMC Lincoln Square Theater on January 08, 2024, in New York, New York

John Nacion/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

Producer Michaels has been running the show for almost 50 years and is starting to think about who could take over. When asked who his replacement might be, he revealed, “It could easily be Tina Fey.” Fey was a beloved cast member on SNL and was the creator of her own NBC show 30 Rock. He added, “There are a lot of people who are there now who are also, you know. Tina’s brilliant and great at everything. She’s a very important person in my life.”

Episode 11 -- Air Date 01/24/1976 -- Pictured: Lorne Michaels (creator/producer)on January 24, 1976

NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

2025 will mark the 50th anniversary of the show and Michaels said that he plans to be there for the anniversary and then will figure out his plans for the future. Stay tuned for more details on the SNL film as well as the future of Michaels as the producer.

1970s Fall TV
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1970s Fall TV

September 2023

Take a trip back to the ’70s by looking at the TV Guide Magazine Fall Preview primetime lineups.

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