Mike Fleming

Emile Hirsch signed to star in a film about the short but eventful life of John Belushi. The film’s scripted and directed by Steve Conrad, based on the Judith Belushi Pisano and Tanner Colby book Belushi. Hirsch is not an obvious choice to play the stout comic actor who soared to fame in the original Saturday Night Live cast and films such as Animal House and The Blues Brothers before dying in 1982 at the Chateau Marmont at age 33, becoming a cautionary tale of excess. The film, which shoots next spring in New York, is the first feature on Belushi’s life and death since 1989′s Wired. That film starred Michael Chiklis and was based on the Bob Woodward book. It was not embraced by Belushi’s widow, who’s part of the new version. Maybe it was too soon, or just too bracing a look at a his demise. Belushi’s brilliantly talented comic partner Dan Aykroyd is exec producing the new film, with Alexandra Milchan, Bonnie Timmerman, Film 360′s Scott Lambert and Judy Belushi Pisano.