John Belushi biopic in the works

A new biographical film based upon the life of legendary comic actor John Belushi is heading to the big screen.

According to THR, The Hangover director Todd Phillips is producing the project, with The Pursuit of Happyness screenwriter Steven Conrad penning the script. Belushi’s widow Judith will executive produce.

Belushi broke into the public consciousness in 1975, after featuring in the first groundbreaking seasons of Saturday Night Live. He starred in the beloved comedies Animal House and The Blues Brothers before passing away from a drug overdose in 1982. He was 33 years old.

The life of the late Belushi was previously brought to the screen in 1989’s Wired, based upon Bob Woodward’s much maligned biography of the same name. The film featured Michael Chiklis as Belushi – an odd casting choice if ever there was one. (UPDATE: Actually, this YouTube footage shows him doing a fairly good job as Belushi).

THR note the difficulty in gaining Belushi’s life rights – no doubt the result of the criticism leveled at the Wired book and film from his friends and family. It is not yet known if the rights to his SNL-cohorts Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd and show-creator Lorne Michaels have been gained.

So, who’s going to play him? THR suggest The Hangover star Zack Galifianakis or Jack Black, although both are now in their forties. Their next tier of younger actors include Jonah Hill, Tyler Labine, Seth Rogen and Ethan Suplee.

Discuss: Who would you like to see star as Belushi?

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