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‘SNL 1975’: Willem Dafoe To Play David Tebet In Origin Movie

EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-nominated actor Willem Dafoe is set to join the ensemble cast of of Sony Pictures’ SNL 1975 (working title), which will be directed by Jason Reitman and based on the real-life behind-the-scenes accounts of the opening episode of Saturday Night Live. Reitman and Gil Kenan penned the script.

Dafoe will play David Tebet, who was VP Talent Relations at NBC when SNL launched.

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On October 11, 1975, a ferocious troupe of young comedians and writers changed television forever. SNL 1975 is the true story of what happened behind the scenes that night in the moments leading up to the first broadcast of NBC’s Saturday Night Live. It depicts the chaos and magic of a revolution that almost wasn’t, counting down the minutes in real time to the infamous words, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”

The screenplay is based on an extensive series of interviews conducted by Reitman and Kenan with all the living cast members, writers and crew. Reitman, Kenan, Jason Blumenfeld, Erica Mills and Peter Rice are producing.

Dafoe has more than 150 film credits spanning nearly 45 years and has four career Oscar noms — Best Actor for Eternity’s Gate (2018) and Supporting Actor for The Florida Project (2017), Shadow of the Vampire (2000) and Platoon (1986).

He recently starred in last year’s Best Picture-nominated Poor Things; with Asteroid City, his fifth collaboration with Wes Anderson; and lent his voice to the English-language version of Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar winner The Boy and The Heron. He next will be seen in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice Beetlejuice; Yorgos Lanthimos’ Kinds of Kindness, Isaiah Saxon’s fantasy epic The Legend of Ochi, Olmo Schnabel’s Pet Shop Days; Patricia Arquette’s Gonzo Girl; and Robert Eggers’ Nosferatu, marking his third collaboration with the director. He recently wrapped lensing Nadia Latif’s The Man in My Basement and soon will begin shooting American Nails, his eighth collaboration with Abel Ferrara.

He is repped by WME and Circle of Confusion.

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