The Cleve Jones of 'Milk' will play the original 'Saturday Night Live' castmember in a movie directed and scripted by Steve Conrad.
Emile Hirsch is tapped to portray John Belushi in an upcoming biopic. Adam DeVine ("Workaholics") and Joaquin Phoenix (the Johnny Cash of "Walk the Line") were reportedly considered to take on the key role before Hirsch was signed.
Steve Conrad, who wrote "The Pursuit of Happyness", "The Weather Man", Ben Stiller's upcoming "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty", will direct the drama and pen the script based on the book by Tanner Colby and Belushi's widow Judy Belushi Pisano.
The film will chronicle Belushi's journey to stardom in 1970s through his shocking fatal drug overdose at the Chateau Marmont in 1982. He was just 33. The late actor/comedian was best known as an original member of "Saturday Night Live" and the star of movies like "The Blues Brothers" and "Animal House".
Belushi's "Blues Brothers" co-star Dan Aykroyd serves as executive producer for the biopic, with Belushi Pisano co-producing. They are looking to start filming in spring 2014 in New York. No other cast, including who will be playing Aykroyd, has been announced.
This will not be the first Belushi biopic. Michael Chiklis played the late funnyman in a 1989 film titled "Wired" directed by Larry Peerce based on the biography "Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi" by Bob Woodward. The movie didn't get a blessing from Belushi's family and friends though.
Hirsch is no stranger to play real-life characters in movies. He portrayed Z-Boys skateboarder Jay Adams in "Lords of Dogtown", starred as wilderness traveler Christopher McCandless in "Into the Wild", and played LGBT activist Cleve Jones in "Milk". He will next be seen as real-life war hero, GM2 Danny Dietz, in "Lone Survivor".