Twins Maggie and Milo have been estranged for a decade, but a surprise reunion has them re-examining their lives and relationship in this R-rated dramedy. Longtime Saturday Night Live colleagues Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader star as the titular sibs in The Skeleton Twins, which won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for Craig Johnson and Mark Heyman. Johnson also directed. Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell and Boyd Holbrook co-star. Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions will open the film, which counts the Duplass brother among its exec producers, in theaters on September 19 — the same day fellow SNL veteran Tina Fey’s This Is Where I Leave You bows wide. Here’s a look:
EXCLUSIVE: Saturday Night Live alum Bill Hader has signed an exclusive development deal with HBO to create and star in a new comedy series for the premium cable network. Hader is best known for his eight-season stint on SNL where he was one of the most popular cast members of the past decade, creating such memorable characters as NY club scene expert Stefon and Italian talk show host Vinni Vedechi and earning two Emmy nominations. Hader also wrote for the venerable NBC sketch comedy show as well as for Comedy Central’s South Park, sharing in an animated program Emmy award. Hader, repped by Odenkirk/Provissiero Entertainment, UTA and attorney Fred Toczek, is in production on Judd Apatow’s feature Trainwreck for Universal Pictures and will next be seen in the Sundance Film Festival breakout drama The Skeleton Twins opposite fellow SNL alumna Kristen Wiig, set for a September release from Roadside Attractions.
IFC has unveiled a slate of new and returning comedy projects, along with projects in development, ahead of its upfront tonight in New York. New programming for 2015 includes American Documentary (working title), a docu-parody created by Saturday Night Live vets Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Seth Meyers; and American Storage (working title), a scripted half-hour comedy starring Rob Huebel (Childrens Hospital, Human Giant). IFC is also collaborating with CollegeHumor on the first-ever Comedy Music Awards, a satire of traditional awards shows incorporating the best of the comedy and music worlds. Returning for an expanded fourth season is Comedy Bang! Bang! hosted by Scott Aukerman (Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis), and a sophomore season of its original sketch comedy The Birthday Boys, executive produced by Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad) and Ben Stiller, featuring the LA comedy troupe of the same name. IFC is also currently developing Westside from Joel McHale (Community), and The Bank from Teri Weinberg (Ugly Betty). The slate comes out a week after Pete Aronson was tapped as IFC’s new head of original programming. Here is the full list:
Sundance: Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions, Sony Pictures Worldwide Pay $3.5 Million For ‘Skeleton Twins’
In separate deals that add up to $3.5 million and likely the biggest total so far for a film at the Sundance Film Festival, Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions bought domestic rights, and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions bought the rest of the world on The Skeleton Twins, the Craig Johnson-directed film that stars Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell and Kathleen Rose Perkins. Former Saturday Night Live co-stars Hader and Wiig play estranged twins who reunite and look back over their lives after they cheat death on the same day. Lionsgate/Roadside takes U.S., SPWA gets other worldwide rights. They plan to release it late summer. This gives Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions a shot at redemption after Robert Redford singled them out for not pushing him for Oscars for All Is Lost.
I’ve heard strong reaction for a breakout turn by Hader, who plays a suicidal sibling in a role that is way more serious than the characters he became known for playing expertly on SNL. The film is produced by Stephanie Langhoff, Jennifer Lee and Jacob Pechenik, and the film got its first screening last Saturday at the Library Theater. ICM and UTA brokered the deal for the film that is in the U.S. Dramatic Competition.
Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine.
If there are large shoes being left behind on Saturday Night Live this coming season, they belong to Bill Hader. For seven seasons, he’s been the impersonator extraordinaire, hitting high notes with his take on Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood and Vincent Price to name a few, but also with his non-celeb eccentrics such as Italian TV host/motor mouth Vinny Vedecci and, of course, effeminate “Weekend Update” New York City correspondent Stefon (whose Anderson Cooper wedding send-off was actually planned a year in advance by Hader). Unlike some SNL alums who overstay their tenure on the show and segue to limited opportunities, Hader is departing in his prime and looking at blue skies. Similar to Steve Carell in the wake of The Daily Show, Hader is delicately balancing the comedic persona he carved on SNL with dramatic feature roles in The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: His And Her and with Kristen Wiig in The Skeleton Twins as well as voice-over fare in the Hulu series The Awesomes and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2. He already has a 2009 Emmy win for best animated program (under 30 minutes) under his belt as a producer on South Park; however, his recent Emmy nomination for best supporting comedy actor comes as his second in a row for SNL. Hader spoke with us about his departure from the show, its comedic mechanics and what lies ahead.
Related: EMMYS: Comedy Lead Acting Handicap
AwardsLine Editor Christy Grosz, Managing Editor Anthony D’Alessandro and contributors Paul Brownfield and Thomas J. McLean assist with Deadline’s TV coverage.
Lead acting comedy series nominee Don Cheadle (House Of Lies) and supporting acting hopefuls Mayim Bialik (Big Bang Theory), Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live) and Tony Hale (Veep) share thoughts on their characters, shows and nominations.
AwardsLine: You play a narcissist, Marty Kaan, who heads his own management consulting firm and is generally irresistible to women. That’s usually a recipe for playing a character over the top. And yet your performance is more subtly comedic.
Cheadle: Every season, I’ve been delightfully surprised by how far the writers and the creators want to push who he is and challenge the audience to still come along. For me, it’s still a discovery process. I don’t think he’s set, necessarily. I’m not ever thinking about playing it cool—he is a mess. People that have that much bravado, and enjoy lording it over, usually they’re scared of something.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
It’s hardly a secret that the cast of ABC’s Modern Family have owned this category the past three years, winning each time. But the surprise this year is that the guy who has carted off two of those three Emmys – Eric Stonestreet – curiously wasn’t even nominated this time. So what has been four nominees is now just three: Ty Burrell (who won in 2011), Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Ed O’Neill. That trio will be competing with one returning nominee in SNL’s Bill Hader (who departed the show this past season) and a pair of first-timers in Tony Hale of HBO’s Veep and Adam Driver from the same network’s Girls. While the smart money remains on one of the Family nominees winning, it’s very much a wide open race.
SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTOR
Why He Could/Should Win: Besides having won once before, Burrell enjoyed a banner year as Phil Dunphy on Family, including a spectacular turn opposite guest star Matthew Broderick in one memorable episode.
Why He Could/Should Lose: The fact his show’s vote is split three ways leaves Burrell cloaked in uncertainty. One of his winless costars could take it home.
Related: EMMYS: Comedy Series Overview
Rumors of Jason Sudeikis‘ departure have been bandied about since the end of Saturday Night Live‘s last season. He made it official in his interview on Late Show With David Letterman that airs tonight. He joins fellow longtime castmembers Fred Armisen and Bill Hader on the off-into-the-sunset list. An eight-year on-air veteran of the NBC skit show, Sudeikis was on Letterman promoting his upcoming film We’re The Millers. Here’s the clip:
Those who know Aubrey Plaza from her deadpan ex-intern on Parks and Recreation will see a decidedly different side of her in CBS Films’ The To Do List. The redband trailer has arrived, complete with raunchy jokes, sight gags and “other”. Plaza’s Brandy was her class valedictorian but managed to finish high school with her virginity intact. One raucous graduation party later, she decides to remedy the situation before starting college in the fall. Watch for Brandy stumbling over her unfamiliarity with certain terms of, er, endearment. Director Maggie Carey’s 1993-set comedy boasts the tagline, “From straight A’s to her first F.” Co-starring Bill Hader, Alia Shawkar and Johnny Simmons, it opens July 26:
SNL‘s season finale also marked the final show for cast standout Bill Hader, who reprised his beloved character Stefon on “Weekend Update”. But with Seth Meyers also departing this year for late-night hosting duties, the segment morphed into a filmed Graduate-style gay marriage bit with a few special guests:
Bill Hader is leaving Saturday Night Live, with his final regular appearance set for this week’s season finale. Hader joined SNL as a featured player in 2005 and was promoted to the main cast the next year. His memorable characters on the NBC show include James Carville and Al Pacino impersonations, Italian talk show host Vinny Vedecci and Weekend Update city correspondent Stefon, which he co-created with John Mulaney. “It was a hard decision, but it has to happen at some point,” Hader told The New York Times. “It got to a point where I said, ‘Maybe it’s just time to go’.”