Todd Phillips, the director of such comedic hits as Old School and The Hangover is set to produce a biopic based on the turbulent life of actor John Belushi. The young comedian and “Saturday Night Live” cast member died at the age of 33 in 1982 from a drug overdose. Like most stars who go before their time, his career was white hot but unfortunately all the partying eventually caught up to him.
According to THR, Phillips plans on producing the film with the help of screenwriter Stephen Conrad. Warner Bros have acquired the rights to Belushi’s story from his estate and are trying to pull together a cast and crew to get the project off the ground. In the past, the deal for the film rights have fallen through and come back together again but this time they have a solid lock.
Many books have been written about the late actor and even a made for TV movie has been produced (starring Michael Chiklis), but none of them had the support of Belushi’s family. Phillips film will thanks to the involvement of the actor’s widow Judith Belushi Pisano (she’s since remarried), who will serve as an executive producer. She wrote a book in 2005 called “Belushi: A Biography,” which will be the source for some of the biopic’s material.
One actor whose name has popped up to play the lead is Zach Galifianakis. Coincidentally, he’s got the build, the comedic chops, and he’s worked with Phillips twice in the past (The Hangover, Due Date). But unfortunately he’s already 40 years old and they’re not sure if they can make that work. Personally, haven’t we seen the age issue get glossed over in movies before (we’re looking at you Kevin Spacey in Beyond the Sea)?
Younger candidates include Jonah Hill (26), Seth Rogen (28), Ethan Suplee (34) and Tyler Labine (32). Out of that bunch who would you choose? And most importantly who’s going to play John’s little brother, Jim? Isn’t that what we’re all really concerned about?
What do you think of Phillips taking on Belushi’s story? Who do you think should play the actor?