J.K. Simmons, Billy Bryk & Joe Chrest Among Final Additions To Jason Reitman’s ‘SNL 1975’

EXCLUSIVE: Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons (The Accountant 2) is among the final additions to the cast of Sony Pictures’ film SNL 1975 (working title), based on real-life behind-the-scenes accounts of the opening night of Saturday Night Live. Other new cast members for the Jason Reitman pic include Billy Bryk (Friendship), Joe Chrest (Stranger Things), Taylor Gray (Star Wars: Rebels) and Mcabe Gregg (Teenage Badass).

Simmons plays comedian Milton Berle, with Chrest as Weekend Update co-creator Herb Sargent. Gray and Gregg portray Al Franken and Tom Davis, the SNL writer-performers of duo Franken & Davis. Details as to Bryk’s role haven’t been disclosed.

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As previously announced, The Fabelmans breakout Gabriel LaBelle leads the ensemble as Lorne Michaels, with Cooper Hoffman, Rachel Sennott, Ella Hunt, Lamorne Morris, Dylan O’Brien, Nicholas Braun, Finn Wolfhard and Kaia Gerber also to star.

It was on October 11th, 1975 that a ferocious troupe of young comedians and writers changed television forever. This is the true story of what happened that night behind the scenes in the moments leading up to the first broadcast of SNL. The chaos and magic of a revolution that almost wasn’t, as we count down the minutes in real time to the infamous words, Live From New York, it’s Saturday Night.

Reitman and Gil Kenan wrote the script after conducting interviews with all living cast, writers, and crew of SNL. The duo also produces alongside Jason Blumenfeld and Peter Rice. Exec producers are Erica Mills and Joann Perritano.

A regular collaborator of Reitman’s on films like Juno, Thank You for Smoking and Up in the Air, Simmons was most recently set to reprise in Gavin O’Connor The Accountant 2 for Amazon, starring alongside Ben Affleck, Jon Bernthal, and Cynthia Addai-Robinson. Other recent feature credits include Amazon’s Lucille Ball drama Being the Ricardos, STX’s National Champions, Amazon’s sci-fi thriller The Tomorrow War, and Hulu’s Palm Springs.

Coming off production on the Boulderlight/Fifth Season comedy Friendship, which has him starring alongside Tim Robinson, Paul Rudd, and Kate Mara, Bryk last fall saw his debut feature Hell of a Summer — a coming-of-age horror comedy on which he teamed with longtime friend Finn Wolfhard — world premiere at TIFF. Most recently, he was seen starring alongside Wolfhard in Jesse Eisenberg’s When You Finish Saving the World for A24.

Best known for his role as patriarch Ted Wheeler on Netflix’s Stranger Things, which is coming up on its fifth and final season, Chrest’s recent feature credits include Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon and Zelda Williams’ Lisa Frankenstein. Other upcoming projects include Greg Berlanti’s Apple space race pic, starring Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum, and the indie Ganymede.

Best known for his portrayal of Ezra in Disney’s Star Wars: Rebels, Gray has also been seen in films like High Expectations and The Wheel, as well as on Lifetime’s American Princess. Most recently, he wrapped on the indie heist pic Any Day Now.

Gregg’s recent features include Teenage Badass and Age of Summer.

Simmons is repped by Gersh; Bryk by Mosaic, OAZ, and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller; Chrest by People Store, Tact Media, and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman; Gray by Insurge-Ent and Felker Toczek Suddleson; and Gregg by Insurge-Ent and Authentic.

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