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Posts tagged as john belushi

Ellen Page in Talks to Play John Belushi's Wife in Belushi Biopic

Ellen Page has signed on for a supporting role in the upcoming movie about John Belushi's life. The Wrap reports that she's in negotiations to play Belushi's wife, Judith Jacklin (now known as Judy Belushi Pisano), who was his high school girlfriend who married him in 1976.

The biopic, based on Belushi: A Biography by Judy Belushi Pisano and Tanner Colby, stars Emile Hirsch as the late comedian, following his career in the late '70s and early '80s as he appeared on SNL, Animal House, and Blues Brothers. Steve Conrad (The Promotion) will direct from his own screenplay, with Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now) playing [...]

Emile Hirsch Says John Belushi Biopic Director "Sold Me and Got Me Really, Really Excited About It"

"I was kind of surprised when I first heard about it. But I sat down with Steve Conrad, the writer-director, and he just kind of has a vision for it and was just really enthusiastic about it and he sold me and got me really, really excited about it … It's so early right now. I don't know what it'll be like or what it will yield."

-Emile Hirsch to THR about playing John Belushi in writer/director Steve Conrad's upcoming biopic on the late, great SNL alum.

A Look Back at the Filmmakers and Short Films of 'Saturday Night Live'

The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio history. Inside their vast archives of more than 150,000 television shows, commercials, and radio programs, there are thousands of important and funny programs waiting to be rediscovered by comedy nerds like you and me. Each week, this column will highlight a new gem waiting for you at the Paley Library to quietly laugh at. (Seriously, it’s a library, so keep it down.)

When one looks at Saturday Night Live as one giant TV show that has aired for more than three decades, it's interesting to see [...]

Talking to Matty Simmons About Producing Animal House, Publishing National Lampoon, and His New Book Fat, Drunk, and Stupid

As the founding publisher of National Lampoon magazine and the person responsible for expanding the Lampoon brand to radio, theater, and film, Matty Simmons led the charge in creating a new kind of comedy during the 1970s. From producing the National Lampoon Radio Hour and stage shows, where he gave work to pre-SNL up-and-comers like John Belushi, Bill Murray, and Gilda Radner, to producing Animal House, one of the highest-grossing and most-imitated movies of all-time, Simmons had a vital role in the changing of the guard that occurred in American comedy during the 70s. In addition to Animal House, he also produced two other highly-influential films: Vacation and Christmas [...]

The Lost Roles of Animal House

Lost Roles is a weekly column exploring what might have been in TV and film comedy, taking a different comedian, writer, or work each week and examining the casting possibilities and career moves that almost came to be. This week: the nixed casting possibilities for the 1978 movie Animal House.

It's difficult to put into perspective how huge a pop cultural event the release of National Lampoon's Animal House was in the summer of 1978. While there was a big hubbub made over The Hangover two years ago when it became the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time; when inflation is factored in, that film pales in comparison [...]

Diving Into John Belushi's Lost Last Comedy, 'Noble Rot'

"The Script Pile" is a biweekly column on Splitsider that takes a look at the screenplays for high-profile movie and TV comedies that never made it to the screen.

John Belushi spent five years as a movie star at the end of his life, and during that time, he never starred in a movie that he wrote. At the time of his death in 1982, however, he had been writing a movie script for himself to star in with longtime SNL writer Don Novello, best known as Father Guido Sarducci, serving as his co-writer. Called Noble Rot, it was a throwback to screwball comedies that, in the wake of [...]

Emile Hirsch Cast as John Belushi in Biopic

Into the Wild star Emile Hirsch will play John Belushi in the upcoming biopic about the late actor's life, THR reports. Steve Conrad wrote the script and will direct the independent film, which will focus on Belushi's life during his SNL/Blues Brothers fame and his shocking death. Joaquin Phoenix and Workaholics's Adam DeVine were also reported to have met with the director about taking the role.

Conrad's previous writing credits include The Weather ManThe Pursuit of Happyness, and Ben Stiller's upcoming Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  Unlike the last Belushi biopic, 1989's Michael Chiklis-starring Wired, the new one has the approval of the comedian's friends and family. His widow Judy Belushi [...]

The Other Belushi Biographer Breaks Down 'Wired'

Journalist Bob Woodward's journalistic tactics were called into question a couple weeks ago over a dispute with the White House, and Tanner Colby has taken this as an opportunity to analyze Woodward's reviled 1984 John Belushi biography Wired in a new piece for Slate. Wired  being criticized for its inaccuracy is nothing new. The book has long been thought of as inaccurate and sensationalist, but the Slate piece is the most damning and clear evidence of this yet. Colby, who co-authored a different biography of the late comedian called Belushi: A Biography, writes of Wired, "It’s like someone wrote a biography of Michael Jordan in which [...]

In Defense of 1941

Unpopular Opinions is a new weekly column in which a writer takes a stand against popular opinion, whether it's asserting the true merit of a supposedly guilty pleasure or dissenting against the universally lauded.

By now we know that Steven Spielberg is not an untouchable director. In 40 years of filmmaking, of course there are going to be some flops. But the World War II comedy 1941 (1979) remains one of his more famous disasters. Briefly, 1941 follows a large group of characters through one hysterical day in and around Los Angeles just after Pearl Harbor as everyone prepares for a possible Japanese attack. To say that [...]

The Lost Roles of John Belushi

Casting is one of the most important processes in movie making. Placing the right actors in the right roles can determine whether or not an entire film rings true. Lost Roles is a weekly series that examines the missed opportunities — the roles that could have been — and explores how some casting choices that almost happened could have changed the film industry and the comedy world at large.

At the time of his tragic and untimely death in 1982, John Belushi was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, and a versatile one at that. He was not only an accomplished comedic actor, but also a successful [...]

Miles Teller Cast as Dan Aykroyd in Upcoming Belushi Biopic

Over the weekend, Emile Hirsch — who has been cast to play SNL star John Belushi in an upcoming biopic by Steve Conrad — announced that Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now, Project X) has been cast to play the part of Dan Aykroyd. "A shout out to Miles Teller!" Hirsch told the audience, which included Teller, at an event according to THR. "We're going to be working together soon. He's playing Dan Aykroyd in the Belushi movie." The casting will not be formally confirmed until after Teller wraps up press obligations for his current Sundance movie Whiplash and upcoming film That Awkward Moment, but does he have [...]

'Walter Mitty' Writer Is Considering Emile Hirsch, Adam DeVine, and Joaquin Phoenix for His Belushi Biopic

A new John Belushi biopic is in the works. THR reports that Steve Conrad, writer of The Weather Man, The Pursuit of Happyness, and Ben Stiller's upcoming Secret Life of Walter Mitty, is set to direct a film about the life of the late comedian. Conrad has met with Emile Hirsch and Workaholics star Adam DeVine about taking the part. THR reports that Joaquin Phoenix has also been connected to the Belushi role. Nelson Franklin, who's appeared on New Girl and Veep and is a regular on CBS's The Millers, is being considered to play Dan Aykroyd.

The Hangover/Old School director Todd Phillips signed on to make the [...]

Comedy Writer/Counterculturalist Nelson Lyon Died at Age 73

As a friend of Andy Warhol, Timothy Leary, and William Burroughs's, Nelson Lyon was a fixture of the New York City counterculture. The former 1980s SNL writer, however, is probably best known as being John Belushi's sidekick in the 1982 drug binge that lead to the comic genius's demise. Lyon never served jail time for the incident but the events left a black mark on his career that was seemingly impossible for him to overcome. Lyon passed away from liver cancer last week, on Tuesday July 17. He will be missed.

The Lost Roles of Three Amigos

This week marks the 25th anniversary of Three Amigos, one of the best-regarded comedies of the 1980's and one that brought together a half-dozen of the greatest comedic minds going at the time. Three Amigos starred Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short, was written by Steve Martin, Lorne Michaels, and Randy Newman (who also composed the music and did the voice of the Singing Bush), and was directed by John Landis, who even hired a pre-SNL Phil Hartman and Jon Lovitz for supporting roles. Few comedies can boast a team that is so remarkable and that made such a significant mark on comedy, both separately and together. The [...]