James Franco Promises 'SNL' Doc 'Will Come Out' Via Focus Features Deal
In 2010, while attending New York University, James Franco made Saturday Night, a documentary that takes a behind-the-scenes look at NBC's iconic sketch-comedy show Saturday Night Live.
In an recent interview with The Huffington Post, Franco said of the doc: “It's something I'm very proud of, and it got a great response at the festivals we took it to. We had to add extra screenings at South By Southwest because people liked it so much.”
The Oz the Great and Powerful star originally intended for the film to be an assignment for class but had a realization during production. “I'm not just going to waste this as a class project," he said. "This could be something interesting about comedy and creativity and the show.”
Since its completion, the documentary has faced a series of setbacks while Franco searched for distribution, but he insists that the project "will come out" eventually.
After the film was completed, Franco, who hosted SNL twice in the show’s 2008-2009 season, was able to get the cast and the show’s longtime producer, Lorne Michaels, to sign off on the documentary, but ran into issues with NBC officials. “Then we had to get NBC to sign off," he said. "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."
The film, which documents a week in production of an SNL episode, was originally sold to Adam Yauch’s independent film production and distribution company, Oscilloscope Laboratories. Franco recounts that with the tragic 2012 death of the Beastie Boys musician, “all of the projects with Oscilloscope were kind of tied up in a weird way.”
Saturday Night has now been sold to Focus Features, and Franco assures “we're just working out the final logistics, and it will come out.”