First announced three years ago, writer-director Steven Conrad's still-untitled biopic of John Belushi has found its leading man. The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Emile Hirsch, best known for projects like Into the Wild, Milk and Speed Racer, will play the legendary comedian.
Warner Bros. acquired the rights from Belushi's estate with Belushi's widow, Judith, who published the book "Belushi" in 2005 with Tanner Colby. She will serve as an executive producer on the project, as Judith Belushi Pisano (she's since remarried) with the book informing the screenplay. It is officially described as follows:
On the day he turned thirty, John starred in America's number-one movie ("Animal House"), starred in the number-one late-night show ("Saturday Night Live") and had recorded the number-one album ("Briefcase Full of Blues"). All from a guy who was never supposed to make it out from behind the cash register of his family's Chicago diner.
How did this Albanian immigrant's son capture a nation's imagination and come to embody all the glory and tragedy of the American dream? It was one high-price, high-speed, short-lived wild ride.
Hirsch recently starred in David Gordon Green's Prince Avalanche and can be seen coming up in Lone Survivor.
Scott Lambert, Alexandra Milchan and Bonnie Timmerman are also producing.