It looks like we're going to get movie based on the life of comedian John Belushi. The biopic is being developed by screenwriter Steven Conrad (The Pursuit of Happyness) and director/producer Todd Phillips (Old School, The Hangover). The movie will be made over at Warner Bros. who recently acquired the rights to Belushi's life from Belushi's estate. As of right now Phillips is only producing the film, he has not yet committed to direct. Conrad is attached to write the script.
John Belushi was an incredibly talented comedian who was one of the original Saturday Night Live cast members. He went on to star in films such as Animal house, 1941, The Blues Brothers and several others. Unfortunately Belushi died of a drug overdose in 1982 at the age of 33.
Belushi's life was famously detailed in Bob Woodward's 1985 biography, "Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi." That book is not part of the rights deal, unsurprisingly, since it was widely criticized by Belushi's family and comedy peers when it was published. When "Wired" was subsequently turned into a 1989 feature starring Michael Chiklis, Belushi's friends and family publicly boycotted the film, which then OD'd at the box office.
Belushi's widow, Judith, published her own oral history, "Belushi: A Biography," in 2005. She will be an executive producer on the project, as Judith Belushi Pisano (she's since remarried).
It's unclear whether adjacent rights to prominent figures in Belushi's life, such as manager Bernie Brillstein and "SNL" colleagues Aykroyd, Lorne Michaels and Chevy Chase, have also been acquired by the studio.
There's no doubt that the role of Belushi is going to be pursued by several high profile comedians. So far only one potential actor has been mentioned that could possibly take on the role, that actor is Zach Galifianakis who I think would make a great fit for the role, but he's 40 years old and he may be too old. Jack Black is another actor that will probably be pushing for the role. Back in 2008 he gave an interview in which he said he would turn down any offer to star in a Belushi biopic saying,
His life is not as funny as his work, and watching me do an imitation of him doing his 'Saturday Night Live' bits won't be as funny as watching him do his 'SNL' bits.
Other actors that were mentioned as being possible Belushi candidates include Jonah Hill (26), Seth Rogen (28), Ethan Suplee (34) and Tyler Labine (32), who actually appeared as Belushi in the 2005 NBC movie, Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Mork & Mindy.
I'm looking forward to seeing this John Belushi biopic take shape. So far it's got some great creative talent involved that I trust in bringing Belushi back to life on the big screen. The big question at this point is who will play the comedic legend?
Who would you like to see take on the role of John Belushi?