Late-Night Worlds Collide: Jon Batiste Cast in SNL 1975 Film

The currently in production film about Saturday Night Live’s first broadcast, SNL 1975, has cast Jon Batiste in the on-screen role of Billy Preston, the sketch show’s first-ever musical guest.

The Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe Award-winning Batiste will also compose the score for the film, which is being directed by Jason Reitman.

Others cast in the Sony Pictures film include Gabriel LaBelle as Lorne Michaels, Cooper Hoffman as NBC late-night executive Dick Ebersol, Ella Hunt as Gilda Radner, Dylan O’Brien as Dan Aykroyd, Cory Michael Smith as Chevy Chase, Matt Wood as John Belushi, Kim Matula as Jane Curtin, Emily Fairne as Laraine Newman, Nicholas Podano as Billy Crystal, Taylor Gray as Al Franken, Finn Wolfhard as an NBC page, and J.K. Simmons as Milton Berle.

Batiste’s participation in SNL 1975 represents a late-night return of sorts for Batiste, who lead the in-house band for CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert from 2015-2022.

Batiste is no stranger to the movie business at this point. He had an on-screen role in the 2023 movie The Color Purple, and in 2020, co-composed the score for the Pixar animated film Soul, for which he earned an Oscar and a Golden Globe the following year.

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