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MACGRUBER

About The Production
Will Forte's mullet-sporting, gadget-savvy action hero was introduced to Saturday Night Live audiences several years ago and quickly became a fan favorite. "MacGruber was a pitch I had at SNL that has morphed into this character with a lot of problems,” writer/director Jorma Taccone explains. "He's very insecure and very bull-headed. We've done a number of these sketches on the show, which are always in three parts, and it's usually MacGruber getting worse and worse at his job in some way. He either becomes more and more of an alcoholic, more of a closet racist or has just lost all his money in the stock market. He's a real American hero...with issues.” 

The character was slated to star in a feature film almost immediately after appearing in a national television commercial in February 2009. SNL creator Lorne Michaels offers: "MacGruber has always been popular on the show. The commercial we did for the Super Bowl got a great reaction, and we decided to make a movie based on the character.” 

The SNL veteran and his fellow producer, John Goldwyn, joined forces with Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity Media to assemble the creative team and develop the feature-length film. Michaels shares that the team's rationale for creating the MacGruber movie was a simple one: to make people laugh. "There's a certain kind of movie that has no other reason to exist other than it's funny,” he reflects. "I've never been bashful about how much I like that kind of movie. It's like a confection. When you want it, you want it.”

The MacGruber script became a collaborative effort by Forte and two of his SNL co-writers, Taccone and John Solomon. "When Lorne first got excited about trying to make a movie about MacGruber, we thought, ‘Are you crazy?'” laughs Forte. "This is a 60-second sketch on SNL that ends in an explosion every time. And then we said, ‘We'd be crazy not to think about it, and we started coming up with fun ideas.'” 

Forte says that finding time to focus on the screenplay was tough during the weekly sketch comedy's grueling rehearsals and shoots. "The SNL schedule is physically and mentally draining,” he explains. "We were writing every spare second that we had. The easiest part was that Jorma and John are two of my closest friends. As long as one person had good ideas one day, that took the pressure off the other two. It was a pretty awesome experience to get to share with two of your best buddies.”

"We love '80s action movies,” adds writer John Solomon, "so it was easy to start with MacGruber being out of the game…and then having him get back into it. We were very lucky that Jorma is also a performer. He's good with actors, and he's also very creative and visual.” 

Of the opportunity to turn an SNL sketch into a feature, Solomon says he welcomed the chance to create a multidimensional story. "MacGruber is a very insecure person,” Solomon adds. "We had the chance to make the story bigger and richer than what you'd normally see in a three-minute sketch. Plus, making an R-rated movie gave us an opportunity to have more violence…and add a little sex.”

SNL has a staff of approximately 20 writers who work each week to create 45-50 set pieces that are whittled down to less than a dozen by 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night. The three men working on MacGruber, however, had a much smaller writing team as they created the feature's screenplay. In a world where it can sometimes take years to make a film, the project went from conception to shooting in less than six months; it was shot during the team's hiatus from SNL. 

"This is a group of people that understand that time is their enemy and that there is a limitation to the amount of time you get to do anything,” producer John Goldwyn shares. "With SNL, you start with a blank page on Monday and you're on air on Saturday, so you have to

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