WE ♥ DOCS
James Franco's 'Saturday Night Live' Doc Moves to Focus Features
About two and a half years ago, we heard about a documentary from James Franco that went behind the scenes of "Saturday Night Live" with unprecedented access during the production of an episode which John Malkovich hosted in 2008. Originally, Saturday Night was part of an assignment that Franco was working on as a film student at NYU, and while it was supposed to be much shorter, focusing on cast member Bill Hader. But Franco realized it could be much bigger and thankfully turned it into a feature length documentary capturing behind-the-scenes footage that has yet to be seen by audiences. More below!
After the film played South by Southwest and Tribeca, Oscilloscope Laboratories picked it up for distribution, but we haven't heard anything since then. Thankfully, reporter Mike Ryan (who reviews every new episode of "SNL" at Huffington Post), sat down with Franco whilst promoting Oz: The Great and Powerful and he has good news for fans awaiting this film. Franco explains quickly how the film came together and why the film has been delayed for so long:
"I realized I had all of this access that people had never been granted before. And I thought, Well, heck, I'm not just going to waste this as a class project. This could be something interesting about comedy and creativity and the show. So, we shot a feature and put it together -- and then we had to go back and first get all of the performers to sign off, which they did. And then Lorne to sign off. But then we had to get NBC to sign off. And then NBC has some big turnover of executives, so the people who had signed off before were no longer there -- so we had to get new people to sign off. And then blah, blah, blah, blah blah."
But the good news is that Franco and his producers are currently in talks with Focus Features, which is conveniently owned by NBC Universal (also behind "SNL"), and they're "working out the final logistics, and it will come out." Honestly, this is one film that I've been waiting anxiously to check out. I'm a longtime fan of "Saturday Night Live" and have soaked up any behind-the-scenes details from various specials and features over the years. Saturday Night reveals cast members changing between sketches, table reads, and even an extremely rare look inside the office of Lorne Michaels as he selects the sketches to air. Cool?