Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired the North American rights to James Franco’s directorial debut "Saturday Night," which follows a week in the making of an episode of ‘Saturday Night Live’. The film premiered at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival and will be released in theaters early 2011.
Eric Kohn reviewed the film for indieWIRE during SXSW, noting:
"'Saturday Night,' James Franco's fascinating verite portrait of a week in the life of the cast and crew of 'Saturday Night Live,' pulls back many curtains at once. Given exclusive access to the frenzy of pitch sessions, rehearsals and the final broadcast that fuels each show, Franco captures the mania associated with 'SNL' over the course of three decades while simultaneously demystifying it. The movie unquestionably delivers enough behind-the-scenes peeks to satisfy a basic level of curiosity about the production, but it also depicts the virtually unflagging motivation required of the show's performers -- an adrenaline mode that can't afford to quit."
Franco revealed in this panel that his original assignment was to complete a seven-minute documentary centered on a person, as an exercise to shape a character. When he chose to profile SNL’s Bill Hader for a week, the opportunity to do go behind the scenes with the show’s staff was too good to pass up. His short quickly morphed into a feature.
O-scope head Adam Yauch said in a statement: “SNL is my mother fuckin’ shit, and James is my mother fuckin’ man. But I don't know if we've met. James, have we met?"
“We met in my dreams," James Franco said in a statement. "Adam Yauch has been an inspiration since I was sixteen. Everyone at Rabbit Bandini is extremely excited to be working with Oscilloscope, one of the coolest companies in the industry."
The film was produced by Miles Levy and Vince Jolivette of Rabbit Bandini. Oscilloscope will also elease Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's "HOWL," starring James Franco as Allen Ginsberg, in theaters and on VOD on September 24th.