The shooting for writer-director-producer Jason Reitman’s ‘Wolverines’ is set to begin in Atlanta, Georgia, in November 2023. Produced by Sony Pictures, the film tells the real-life story of the opening night of the now-iconic NBC and Peacock series ‘Saturday Night Live’ or ‘SNL.’ The film will be set on October 11, 1975, and depict how a group of young comedians and writers who have since become stalwarts of their profession — including Dan Aykroyd, Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Chevy Chase, and Gilda Radner — put together the pilot episode of arguably the greatest live-television, sketch-comedy, variety-show of all time. The film will delve deep into the chaos and beauty of the hours leading up to the premiere and what really happened behind the stage when those magical words — “Live From New York, it’s Saturday Night” — were said for the first time.
Reitman will direct the project based on a script he has co-written with his ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ writing partner Gil Kenan (‘A Boy Called Christmas’). Not much is known about the casting, but it was reported in June 2023 that Automatic Sweat Casting was looking for actors to portray the legendary comedians who were associated with SNL at the time. The film’s title is inspired by the very first sketch of the inaugural episode.
The son of late filmmaker Ivan Reitman, Jason Reitman has directed films like ‘Thank You for Smoking’ (2005), ‘Juno’ (2007), ‘Up in the Air’ (2009), ‘Young Adult’ (2011). The original ‘Ghostbusters’ films of the 1980s were directed and produced by his father. So, when Reitman announced that he would make a sequel to his father’s original two films, the fans of the franchise received the news with tentative positiveness. ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ was a critical and commercial success, receiving a 63% approval rating from the critics on Rotten Tomatoes and earning $204.4 million at the box office against a $75 million budget. After this, he and Kenan signed an overall deal with Sony to create more projects for them. ‘Wolverines’ is one of these projects, along with the ‘Afterlife’ sequel.
In a July 2023 interview, Ernie Hudson, who portrays Winston Zeddemore in the franchise, confirmed to Screen Rant that the ‘Afterlife’ sequel had completed filming before stating that he had heard rumors that the movie would be released at the end of 2023 or spring of 2024. “I never know how the studios are gonna do whatever they do, but the filming is done, which was a little bit difficult with the writers’ strike and everything going on,” the actor continued. “So, I know there was a lot of shuffling around in terms of where it was being done, but I’m thankful that we at least got it done in the can, and now, I’m like everybody else, waiting to see what it all looks like.”
The ongoing writers’ and actors’ strikes have impacted the productions of multiple projects. If they continue, they are bound to affect the filming schedule of ‘Wolverines.’ We can expect more updates on that as well as casting and production in the coming months.