Looking back to their roots on Saturday Night Live in the late 70s, Dan Aykroyd might not have guessed that The Blues Brothers would have become such monumental part of his life. After all, The Blues Brothers started out as little more than a part-time musical sketch on SNL, which was, itself, a once a week program, but two feature films later, The Blues Brothers and their legacy are still going strong. The sketches and the first film in particular, which saw a 1980 theatrical release, were even the overriding inspirations for Aykroyd’s chain of restaurants and concert venues, The House of Blues. Now, 40 years after The Blues Brothers first debuted on Saturday Night Live, the jazz and blues revue returns to television.
Dan Aykroyd And Judy Belushi Co-Create The Blues Brothers Animated Series
There have been several offerings from Dan Aykroyd as the surviving member of The Blues Brothers, including a live musical adaptation, The Blues Brothers Revival, which premiered in Chicago in 2004. Now, Aykroyd and Jim Belushi’s widow, Judy, are getting the band back together for a television series. Dan and Judy are only part of a team that includes Saturday Night Live writer Anne Beatts, who will also serve as an executive producer on the prime-time animated series. The untitled Blues Brothers series will follow Jake and Elwood Blues and their band as they travel the country and return back to their Chicago stomping grounds.
As might be expected of anything attached to The Blues Brothers name, the animated series will have a heavy musical influence, including classic soul, blues, and R&B songs from The Blues Brothers’ Saturday Night Live sketches, albums, and films. Adding to that list of fan favorites, new music will be created for The Blues Brothers series, as well as original music from a slew of special guests.
Bento Box Entertainment will produce the series, which has yet to find a distributor, and Scott Greenberg, who represents Bento Box will also serve as an executive producer.
“It is such a privilege for us to be able to produce the work of the very same people who played such an instrumental role in creating one of the most iconic, multi-faceted comedy and music brands of all time,” Greenberg said. “Now we all have the rare opportunity to translate the timeless comic genius of Dan and John from live-action to animation, while offering an entirely new generation of Blues Brothers fans the chance to appreciate them.”
The Blues Brothers Has Been Pitched Before And, Much Like Elwood Blues, Dan Aykroyd Never Gives Up
The Blues Brothers returned to the big screen in 1998 with Blues Brothers 2000. Dan Aykroyd returned as Elwood Blues, teaming up with John Goodman in place of his legendary brother, but, in spite of the growing popularity of the first film, Blues Brothers 2000 didn’t have the same draw as its predecessor. As a result of the sequel’s failure, plans that Aykroyd and Judy Belushi had for an animated series to premiere on UPN later that same year never saw a debut.
A second attempt to bring an animated series to television again fell through in 2011, but Mr. Aykroyd proves his tenacity and seems as determined as ever to revitalize The Blues Brothers franchise, hoping to build it up bigger than ever before.
“It’s so great to accelerate Jake and Elwood at digital speed into the 21st Century via the outstanding creative group at Bento Box,” says Dan Aykroyd. “The show will be the Blues Brothers living in America and utilizing all new technology to make and promote their own records, seek out and record new artists and avoid law enforcement — and all while fighting for truth, justice and a better breakfast sandwich.”
[Image by Universal Pictures]