Back in December of 2008, James Franco filmed a behind-the-scenes Saturday Night Live documentary, focusing on the week leading up to an episode hosted by actor John Malkovich. Originally intended to be a seven-minute short for an NYU grad school assignment, the doc blossomed into a 90-minute film that screened to critical acclaim at the South by Southwest and Tribeca film festivals in 2010. While the project has been in studio limbo for the past few years, Franco has finally found a home for the documentary on Hulu Plus, where it will stream starting this Friday, September 26th.
“It’s something I’m very proud of, and it got a great response at the festivals we took it to,” Franco told The Huffington Post in an interview from March 2013. “I realized I had all of this access that people had never been granted before. And I thought, Well, heck, I’m not just going to waste this as a class project. This could be something interesting about comedy and creativity and the show.”
Franco said the delay boiled down to executive shifts at NBC executives and issues with Oscilloscope Laboratories, the independent film distribution company (co-founded by late Beastie Boy Adam Yauch) that originally bought the project before it was sold to Focus Features.
“So, we shot a feature and put it together,” Franco continues, “and then we had to go back and first get all of the performers to sign off, which they did. And then Lorne [Michaels] to sign off. But then we had to get NBC to sign off. 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. Then, we sold it to Oscilloscope. And then, really sadly, Adam Yauch died, so then all of the projects with Oscilloscope were kind of tied up in a weird way.”