Jon Batiste Joins Jason Reitman's 'SNL 1975' as Composer and Actor

Exploring a musical legend's impact on cinematic storytelling.

by Nouman Rasool
Jon Batiste Joins Jason Reitman's 'SNL 1975' as Composer and Actor
© Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Musician Jon Batiste is set to have a key part in the Jason Reitman film focusing on the early evenings of NBC's groundbreaking sketch comedy series "Saturday Night Live." Batiste's great music will be part of the cast. He is set to play thejson of "SNL" first musical guest, a legendary recording artist on the premiere night of the show, which premieres on October 11, 1975.

Titled "SNL 1975," it takes after a working title for the project from Sony Pictures. The film will try to give audiences a rare look at the bustle, taking them behind the drama of the scenes that unfold as the show gets set to go live for the very first time.

Directed by Reitman, the film also stars Gabriel LaBelle as Lorne Michaels, the icon of "SNL," and Cooper Hoffman as former NBC executive Dick Ebersol and Rachel Sennott as Rosie Shuster, the ex-wife of Michaels and one of the sketch show's first writers.

From an original idea and co-written by Reitman with Gil Kenan, the script feels rich with authenticity, filled with accounts from interviews with many of the key players who helped get the show up and running. Now in its 49th season, "SNL" has been both uniquely of-the-moment and a staple of American comedy, and the film is a question that can only be awaited.

The film will be produced by Reitman and Kenan through their respective companies, along with Blumenfeld and Rice through Array Filmworks. Executive producers are Mills and Perritano.

Batiste's Musical Genius

The person who brought his epic musical history to the project was Jon Batiste, a five-time Grammy Award winner, and the Oscar-winning composer for Pixar's "Soul.

Batiste's recent Oscar nominations for Best Original Song, "It's Only Music" from "Soul," and "It Never Went Away" from "American Symphony," along with his critically acclaimed seventh studio album, "We Are," all prove his eclectic talent.

Best known most likely from his seven seasons as bandleader on CBS's "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," Batiste added a thrilling dimension to the picture of "SNL 1975. The rest of the cast, which is set to portray the crew behind the original "SNL," is big, with Dylan O'Brien playing Dan Aykroyd, Lamorne Morris playing Garrett Morris, and other big names playing the parts of icons that were part of the very first "SNL" cast.

With more casting decisions coming in, including Nicholas Braun as Jim Henson and J.K. Simmons as Milton Berle, "SNL 1975.