Filmmaker Todd Phillips has made a career of documenting the modern man-child's debauchery: Will Ferrell's beer-bong-sucking nice guy in "Old School," Owen Wilson's stoner-cop in "Starsky & Hutch," and basically the entire cast of the booze-sodden "Hangover." Now Phillips is planning to document the travails of another debaucherous funnyman. But this time, it's a true story, and we should expect a dose of tragedy to be mixed in with the drug-addled madness.
Phillips and screenwriter Steven Conrad ("The Pursuit of Happyness") are developing a biopic based on the life of John Belushi, following Warner Bros.' acquisition of the comedian's life-story rights from his estate, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Conrad is set to pen the script, with Phillips onboard as a producer but not yet committed to directing the project.
Belushi was an original "Saturday Night Live" castmember, after getting his start with the Second City comedy group. He appeared on "SNL" from 1975 until 1979, leaving a year after the success of "Animal House" to pursue a full-time career in Hollywood. He appeared in "The Blues Brothers" in 1980, as well as a few other films. In 1982, at the age of 33, Belushi died of a drug overdose and was found in a hotel room at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles.
Phillips' project marks the latest effort to capture Belushi's life on camera. In 1989, Michael Chiklis starred as Belushi in "Wired," based on a biography that was widely condemned by the actor's family and friends when it was released. In a 2002 TV-movie about "SNL" castmate Gilda Radner, Eric Siegel portrayed Belushi. And in a 2005 TV movie about TV show "Mork & Mindy," Tyler Labine appeared as the comedian.
Who might play the role this time around? THR drops names like frequent Phillips' collaborator Zach Galifianakis, Jack Black, Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen.
Who do you think should play the role of John Belushi? Tell us in the comments.
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