Several years ago, we wrote about The Hangover director Todd Phillips being put in charge of a biographical film about John Belushi. Warner Bros. had acquired the rights back in 2010 to develop a film based on his life, and Philips, along with screenwriter Steven Conrad, were set to bring it to life. Now it turns out that Conrad will be taking on the film himself, with Phillips exiting. The Hollywood Reporter says that Conrad, who also wrote the screenplay for the forthcoming The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, will be directing. Among those he’s met with to potentially portray Belushi include Workaholics‘ Adam Devine, with Emile Hirsch and Joaquin Phoenix’s names also surfacing.
Belushi, who died of a drug overdose at 33 in 1982, was one of the most popular stars of Saturday Night Live, also starring in Animal House and The Blues Brothers. While he’s been portrayed onscreen before, in 1989’s Wired (by Michael Chiklis!), Belushi’s family apparently boycotted the film. This project not only has the late actor’s widow, Judy Belushi Pisano, on board as a producer, it also has his best friend and SNL costar Dan Akyroyd executive-producing. Apparently, the film will shoot in New York in Spring of 2014.