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Todd Phillips talks about the process on the John Belushi biopic

09.03.2010

Since the news of a John Belushi biopic, we haven't heard anything from its helmer, Todd Phillips.

There have been many efforts to try and push a Belushi biopic for years now. Phillips wasn't exactly pleased about it and reflected upon what had been reported in the trades, "That's something that gets released by some agent of somebody and then you get asked questions about it. It's in its very nascent stages."

Phillips doesn't want to go the usual route with his biopic. Instead he is looking to do something a bit different and something that Belushi would be proud of, "Our goal is not to do a traditional biopic approach with it that people expect, whether youíre talking about 'Walk the Line' or 'Ray.' All good movies, but our goal is not to make that typical biopic. We want to make a movie that, if John Belushi saw it, he would be happy that it captured his spirit. Sometimes I feel that they donít entirely capture the spirit of the person they're about. Our goal is to capture the spirit of Belushi, not necessarily make a straight-ahead biopic."

Writer Steve Conrad (THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) is working with Phillips on a treatment and a script has yet to be started, "Steve Conrad, who's a f--king brilliant writer, is working on a story for it."

If the biopic won't be traditional, then what is the method to Phillips madness? What will the timeline be like? Compressed? Or one that takes the slower approach chronicling a few years then skipped ahead a few decades? Phillips says, "It could mean that. There are a lot of ways to interpret it. One of the reasons I'm being a bit vague is because we haven't nailed it yet. It's in early stages. I'm really talking about the very television-narrative approach that a lot of biopics take. We don't want to do that. We're trying to take a very renegade approach to who I think was one of the most renegade comedy actors of all time."

But who would play the part of the renegade comedian? "It's about nailing the script down at this point. If it's a new face or if it's someone people are familiar with, we haven't figured that out yet. It's not even so much about nailing down the script as the renegade approach to a renegade actor."

Extra Tidbit: There's a million choices you could go with for Belushi, but I just have a hard time settling on one. I think going with an unknown might actually be the best choice.
Source: MTV Movies Blog

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