‘SNL 1975’ Adds J.K. Simmons and Another ‘Stranger Things’ Alum to Star-Studded Cast

SNL 1975, one of the year's most curious prospects, has added another heavyweight actor to its bulging cast in the shape of Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons. Simmons, renowned for his wide variety of roles from Whiplash to Spider-Man, while also known for being devastatingly funny when the role requires it, will portray the legendary comedian Milton Berle in the Jason Reitman-directed film according to a report from Deadline.

Berle, often referred to as "Mr. Television" during TV's golden age, was an American comedian and actor whose career spanned over 80 years. Berle was a pivotal figure in the early success of American television, particularly known for hosting NBC's Texaco Star Theater, which helped cement TV as a mainstream medium. His comedic style and timing were instrumental in shaping early television comedy, making his portrayal by Simmons a fitting tribute to his legacy.

The film's story focuses on the chaos, magic, and near-misses of the first broadcast of Saturday Night Live on October 11, 1975, bringing to life the tumultuous moments leading up to the show's historic first words, "Live From New York, it's Saturday Night." With Gabriel LaBelle leading as Lorne Michaels, the ensemble also includes Cooper Hoffman, Rachel Sennott, Ella Hunt, Lamorne Morris, Dylan O’Brien, Nicholas Braun, Finn Wolfhard, and Kaia Gerber, making it one of the year's most intriguing prospects.

The cast has also added Billy Bryk (Friendship), Joe Chrest (Stranger Things), Taylor Gray (Star Wars: Rebels), and Mcabe Gregg (Teenage Badass). Best known for playing Ted Wheeler on Netflix’s Stranger Things, Chrest’s recent feature credits include Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon and Zelda Williams’ Lisa Frankenstein. His other upcoming projects include Greg Berlanti's space-race movie for Apple, starring Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum, and the indie Ganymede.

Gray is best known for his voice role as Ezra Bridger in Disney’s Star Wars: Rebels and has also been seen in films like High Expectations and The Wheel, as well as on Lifetime’s American Princess. Most recently, he finished shooting the indie heist pic Any Day Now. Bryk was most recently seen starring alongside Wolfhard in Jesse Eisenberg’s When You Finish Saving the World for A24. Gregg’s recent credits include Teenage Badass and Age of Summer.

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Who Is Making 'SNL 1975'?

'SNL 1975' Adds J.K. Simmons and Another 'Stranger Things' Alum to Star-Studded Cast

The script, penned by Reitman and Gil Kenan, is based on extensive interviews with the surviving cast, writers, and crew of SNL, promising an authentic and intimate look at the show's groundbreaking debut. Produced by Reitman, Kenan, Jason Blumenfeld, and Peter Rice, with Erica Mills and Joann Perritano serving as executive producers, the film feels like it might end up being an important part of television history told in the most accessible form.

Stay tuned to Collider for updates. Reitman and Kenan's latest feature, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is currently playing in theaters.

Ghostbusters Frozen Empire New Film Poster

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

PG-13

Adventure

Sci-Fi

Comedy

Fantasy

510

When the discovery of an ancient artifact unleashes an evil force, Ghostbusters new and old must join forces to protect their home and save the world from a second ice age.

Release Date

March 22, 2024

Director

Gil Kenan

Cast

Mckenna Grace , Carrie Coon , Paul Rudd , Emily Alyn Lind , Finn Wolfhard , Bill Murray , Dan Aykroyd , Ernie Hudson

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Runtime

125 Minutes

Main Genre

Adventure

Writers

Gil Kenan , Jason Reitman , Ivan Reitman , Dan Aykroyd , Harold Ramis

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