We were robbed of his comedic genius far too soon, but now it looks like John Belushi may be making a return to the silver screen. THR is reporting that Todd Philips (The Hangover) is currently developing a biographical movie about Belushi’s life, and Warner Bros. has evidently picked up the rights.
The Pursuit of Happyness screenwriter Steven Conrad is scripting the film, which is expected to be a full biopic about the life and career of the SNL and Animal House funnyman.
Belushi died in 1982, at age 33, from a drug overdose. Though his career was cut short, the work he did was memorable. He was a staple on Saturday Night Live in the late ’70s and his turn as ‘Bluto’ in the 1978 hit Animal House helped him achieve wide recognition. Once The Blues Brothers came out in 1980, Belushi was a full star.
Who will star as Belushi in the biopic is currently up in the air. Some names that have been tossed around include Zach Galifianakis (who worked with Philips on The Hangover) as well as Jack Black. However both may be too old for the role, and Black has explicitly stated he would never accept a role as Belushi.
“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,” Black said.
There are two younger comedic actors who have actually played Belushi as a character before and may be in the running. Tyler Labine appeared as Belushi in the NBC movie “Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of ‘Mork & Mindy” while Eric Siegel took a turn in the ABC movie “Gilda Radner: It’s Always Something.”
Judith Belushi, John’s widow, will be an executive producer on the project.