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A biopic on the great comedian John Belushi has been revived after years of getting nowhere. Steve Conrad, who wrote Ben Stiller’s remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, is now set to direct.
Back in 2010, the project was set up at Warner Bros., with Hangover director Todd Phillips directing and Conrad writing. Phillips has now left the project, so Conrad is taking the helm, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which first confirmed the news.
Sources for THR said that Conrad has met with Into The Wild’s Emile Hirsch and Workaholics comedian Adam Devine about playing Belushi. Joaquin Phoenix is also in the running.
One of the film’s key roles will be Dan Aykroyd, who appeared on Saturday Night Live with Belushi. The two also starred in 1941 and The Blues Brothers together. Nelson Franklin (New Girl, Veep) is considered a possibility to play Aykroyd.
The Animal House star was just 33 when he died of a drug overdose in 1983. THR notes that the film will focus on his rise and the tragedy of his life. His widow, Judy Belushi Pisano, is slated to produce and Aykroyd will be an executive producer.
Producers are looking to start filming in spring 2014 in New York, so casting news should be announced soon.