Emile Hirsch Officially Set to Play John Belushi in Steve Conrad's Biopic
Following a shortlist that included Adam Devine and Joaquin Phoenix, THR has word that the third candidate, Emile Hirsch, has landed the role of John Belushi in a biopic about the late comedian from director Steve Conrad (writer of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Pursuit of Happyness). Hirsch hasn't done much comedy since the early years of his career when he starred in The Girl Next Door, but the film will require just as much drama as comedy as it explores Belushi's life from his youngest comedic exploits through his unbelievable success in films like The Blues Brothers and Animal House decades ago. Read on!
Belushi's quick rise to fame found him simultaneously having a #1 movie (Animal House), a #1 TV show (with "SNL") and a #1 music album (Briefcase Full of Blues), all at the age of 30. It proved to be too much to handle as Belushi was always the life of the party, a party that included far too much alcohol and drugs and led to his tragic death at age 33 in 1982 at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles.
Belushi encountered many famous faces along the way, so it'll be interesting to see who else gets cast in the film (Nelson Franklin is up for the role of Dan Aykroyd), especially since the source material is the 2005 biography Belushi, formed with the loving hands of widow Judith Belushi Pisano and letters and interviews from the comedian's closest friends and collaborators. This will undoubtedly be a big role for Hirsch (who will next be seen in Lone Survivor) and a true challenge that could get him some Oscar love. Production is expected to begin in New York next spring. Sound good?