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Todd Phillips talks about the process on the John Belushi biopic

09.03.2010
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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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12:07PM on 09/04/2010

Chiklis

I remember Michael Chiklis as Belushi and I thought he did a pretty d@mn good job. However, the way the story was told (Wired) was crap. I hope with the recent success of movies like Ray and Walk the Line, they will find a good way of honoring Belushi. Gonna be tough to find someone with Jim's charm and charisma
I remember Michael Chiklis as Belushi and I thought he did a pretty d@mn good job. However, the way the story was told (Wired) was crap. I hope with the recent success of movies like Ray and Walk the Line, they will find a good way of honoring Belushi. Gonna be tough to find someone with Jim's charm and charisma
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7:47AM on 09/04/2010

Phillip Seymour Hoffman

I vote for PSH to play Belushi.
I vote for PSH to play Belushi.
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12:53AM on 09/04/2010

I AM John Belushi!

I agree that an unknown is the only way to go. In fact, I think this particular unknown *points to self* is the way to go:
[link]
I agree that an unknown is the only way to go. In fact, I think this particular unknown *points to self* is the way to go:
[link]
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11:15PM on 09/03/2010

Don Fogler

Dan Fogler as Belushi would be pretty damn good I think. [link]
Dan Fogler as Belushi would be pretty damn good I think. [link]
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10:40PM on 09/03/2010
I think casting an unknown is the only route to go. You don't wanna see Rogen star in it and say "Hey, that's Seth Rogen".
I think casting an unknown is the only route to go. You don't wanna see Rogen star in it and say "Hey, that's Seth Rogen".
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8:40PM on 09/03/2010
I'm not completely sold on this, as to casting it I can only see an unknown brought in. One thing's for sure, Kevin Heffernan reminds me of John Candy so much it's spooky...but I guess that's old news, right?
I'm not completely sold on this, as to casting it I can only see an unknown brought in. One thing's for sure, Kevin Heffernan reminds me of John Candy so much it's spooky...but I guess that's old news, right?
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6:51PM on 09/03/2010
I'd prefer they cast an unknown.
I'd prefer they cast an unknown.
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5:46PM on 09/03/2010
It would be awesome if they shot the whole thing like an SNL skit
It would be awesome if they shot the whole thing like an SNL skit
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12:58PM on 09/06/2010
you mean SNL skit like not funny, overly long, and where you can see the actors reading from the cue cards?
you mean SNL skit like not funny, overly long, and where you can see the actors reading from the cue cards?
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