Producer Todd Phillips Talks Bit About the John Belushi Biopic
Back in August we heard that writer/director Todd Phillips was producing a biopic on the legendary late comedian John Belushi with Steven Conrad (The Pursuit of Happyness) writing the script. Recently MTV caught up with Phillips who talked about a little bit about the project, but also made sure to mention that it's still very much in the early stages of development and the script hasn't even been started yet. As Phillips so eloquently puts it: "That's something that gets released by some agent of somebody and then you get asked questions about it." So since he was obviously asked about it, what did the comedy producer have to say?
Though it's still in the "very nascent stages," Phillips and Conrad (who he calls "a fucking brilliant writer") know what they don't want to do with this biopic. Here's what the producer had to say about the project:
"Our goal is not to do a traditional biopic approach with it that people expect, whether you’re talking about 'Walk the Line' or 'Ray.' All good movies, but our goal is not to make that typical biopic. We want to make a movie that, if John Belushi saw it, he would be happy that it captured his spirit. Sometimes I feel that they don’t entirely capture the spirit of the person they're about. Our goal is to capture the spirit of Belushi, not necessarily make a straight-ahead biopic. One of the reasons I'm being a bit vague is because we haven't nailed it yet. It's in early stages. I'm really talking about the very television-narrative approach that a lot of biopics take. We don't want to do that. We're trying to take a very renegade approach to who I think was one of the most renegade comedy actors of all time."
Though at first this sounds like standard fluff for a new project (saying you want to do something different than what's been done previously), when it comes to portraying the life of John Belushi, I fully understand where he's coming from with his explanation. Belushi's life was so off-the-wall with not only lots of drama but obviously comedy that this biopic needs a different approach than others before it. As far as who the actor is to bring Belushi to life on the big screen, he says it's too early to speculate. "It's about nailing the script down at this point. If it's a new face or if it's someone people are familiar with, we haven't figured that out yet." Hopefully the pieces fall into place soon, as I'm eagerly waiting for this to get off the ground.