VOD Spotlight: “MacGruber” goes from “SNL” stage to big screen

“There’s a certain kind of movie that has no other reason to exist other than it’s funny,” says MacGruber producer Lorne Michaels. “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.”

Michaels is also the legendary creator of Saturday Night Live, which was the springboard for the character of MacGruber (Will Forte) several years ago. The mullet-sporting, gadget-savvy action hero became a fan favorite and seemed destined to become a film character too after a successful appearance in a Super Bowl commercial in 2009.

“The commercial … got a great reaction,” says Michaels, “and we decided to make a movie based on the character.”

When Forte heard Michaels’ thoughts on this, he initially wondered, “Are you crazy? This is a 60-second sketch on SNL that ends in an explosion every time. And then we [Forte and two of his SNL writers, Jorma Taccone and John Solomon] said, ‘We’d be crazy not to think about it’ and we started coming up with fun ideas.”

Solomon says that he welcomed the chance to turn the short sketches into a more multidimensional story. And along with the freedom of a larger canvas on which to work, the writers also had the freedom of an R-rating.

“MacGruber is a very insecure person,” Solomon says. “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.”

As the three developed the screenplay, they kept true to their love of action films. According to Taccone, “We were huge fans of late ’80s/early ’90s action movies like Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and Rambo III. We knew that we wanted to make the film in that style, more out of love than anything else.”

“MacGruber” is now showing on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.


© 2010 Rogue Pictures  Credit: Greg Peters/Rogue Pictures