Emile Hirsch beat out Adam Devine to play John Belushi

John Belushi: he’s not just your poster anymore! Into the Wild‘s Emile Hirsch has signed on to play John Belushi in a Warner Bros biopic that’s been in the works for at least three years. First an Entourage movie and now this?! I just wish Blowjob Stacy and Date Rape Dave were alive to see this. (*pours jungle juice out on ground*)

Basically, Bob Woodward wrote a John Belushi biography in 1985 (Wired) that all his friends hated and thought was a betrayal, and that spawned a 1989 movie starring Michael Chiklis that they all boycotted. Belushi’s widow, Judy Belushi Pisano, later wrote an oral history that was published in 2005, and now she’s a producer on this version, along with Dan Aykroyd. The Hangover‘s Todd Phillips was at one point attached to produce and direct, but he stepped aside and handed directing duties over to Steve Conrad, who wrote the script, and recently directed the upcoming The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Now The Hollywood Reporter reports that Emile Hirsch will play the lead, beating other names previously reported as being in the running, like Workaholics‘ Adam Devine and Joaquin Phoenix.

I’m guessing the plan is to go with the “Look how much weight he gained for this role!” style of promotional campaign.

Conrad wrote the script and is directing the indie drama, which tackles the iconic comedian’s life as an allegory about the glory and tragedy of the American dream.

Phew, for a minute there, I was worried they wouldn’t try to turn someone’s life into a reductive metaphor.

The film will explore his rise to fame in the late ’70s as an original castmember on Saturday Night Live and star of such films as The Blues Brothers and Animal House, through to his shocking fatal drug overdose at age 33 at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles.

Conrad and the producers are looking at a spring 2014 shoot in New York. [THR]

A previous article mentioned professional dorky guy Nelson Franklin as a possibility to play Aykroyd.

If Hollywood producers were forced to choose between biopics and cocaine, which do you think they’d choose? Nonetheless, I have to admit I’m kind of interested in this project, almost in spite of myself. Sure it’s a lame biopic, but at least it’s not of another British monarch. The only real shame here is that a John Belushi biopic is going to make it to the screen before an According to Jim movie. I’m telling you, there’s still important work to be done in the field of women be shoppin.