John Belushi Biopic: Emile Hirsch, Joaquin Phoenix On Short List

Looking back on the history of Saturday Night Live, there’s more than a handful of tragedies that has come out of the comedy sketch show. Immediately the tragic life of John Belushi comes to mind. Belushi was one of the original cast members in the first season of Saturday Night Live and was a breakout star of the cast. Sadly his life came to an end at the age of 33-years-old after overdosing on cocaine and heroin.

Since his death in 1982, Belushi’s legacy has lived on through his work in Animal House and The Blues Brothers. Now a much-anticipated biopic of John Belushi’s life is circulating in the news after it had been on hold for years.

Last word on the John Belushi biopic is that The Hangover’s Todd Philips was looking to direct, with Zach Galifianakis, Jack Black, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, and Ethan Suplee on the short list to play the comedic actor. The only one to have received the honor of playing Belushi is actor Tyler Labine, who portrayed John in the 2005 made for tv film Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Mork & Mindy.

Now The Hollywood Reporter has released information that Steve Conrad is set to direct the John Belushi film, and apparently he has his eyes set on either Joaquin Phoenix or Emile Hirsch to play the actor. While Emile Hirsch certainly has the spirit and energy to portray John Belushi, at 28-years old, he may be too young, especially considering that Hirsch looks to be about in his early 20s.

Phoenix might have the upper hand coming off of solid work in Spike Jonze’s Her, but there’s something about him that doesn’t scream John Belushi. Then again no one thought Jim Carrey could pull off the eccentric Andy Kaufman in Man On The Moon, and the comedic actor was praised widely for his performance, so you never know.

During his career John Belushi was very close with his SNL cast mate and friend Dan Aykroyd, and it seems like Aykroyd’s presence will be a big part in the film. Actor Nelson Franklin has met for the part of Aykroyd so far.

All we know is that Warner Bros is behind the John Belushi biopic and the film is expected to shoot in the spring of 2014. Who do you think is the best pick for John Belushi?