Monday, October 28, 2013

Emile Hirsch To Play Late Funnyman John Belushi in Untitled Biopic

It seems like we are often force-fed biopics of individuals whose lives aren't really destined for a big screen treatment.If you really think about it, there are maybe a handful that are really worth seeing.One individual who lived an amazing, yet short life was the great John Belushi.His legend has been embraced by several generations long after his death, and it seems high time that his story be told.

And so it is, as there will be a John Belushi biopic hitting the big screen soon.After many years in development, the film has picked up traction with the casting of young actor Emile Hirsch as the late funnyman.Todd Phillips, the man responsible for such hits as THE HANGOVER and OLD SCHOOL, is slated to direct the project, and it was reported last week that the director had met with Hirsch and WORKAHOLICS star Adam Devine about the role.Apparently Joaquin Phoenix was also considered, but it appears he never had any concrete talks with Phillips.There is also a report claiming that actor Nelson Franklin, who has appeared frequently on Fox's THE NEW GIRL, is in contention to play Belushi's BLUES BROTHERS co-star and close friend, Dan Aykroyd.

Steve Conrad penned the screenplay for the film, which is being adapted from the biography written by Belushi's widow Judith Belushi Pisano and Tanner Colby.Conrad is a wonderful screenwriter who also penned the Will Smith drama THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS and Ben Stiller's upcoming THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (which I saw and absolutely loved).Production on the film is expected to begin mid-2014.

Belushi rose to prominence on the hit NBC comedy series SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE opposite other veterans including Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Gilda Radner.Before his death, he appeared in two now-beloved films - BLUES BROTHERS and ANIMAL HOUSE.He died of a drug overdose at famed Los Angeles hotel The Chateau Marmont in 1982 at age 33.

I think this has the potential to really be something.My hope is that Phillips and Conrad take this film in the same direction as the vastly-underrated Andy Kaufman biopic MAN ON THE MOON.Either way, Belushi is a fascinating subject for a biopic, and hopefully Hirsch can do it justice.He's got some big shoes to fill.


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