Briefly: The shortlist of actors to play the late actor/comedian John Belushi in a new biopic was pretty strange: Emile Hirsch and Adam Devine were mentioned, and Joaquin Phoenix came up as a longshot. Of the three, Phoenix seems to have the best energy for the role. But he won’t play the part. Emile Hirsch has been hired to play Belushi for writer/director Steve Conrad. The script is adapted from the book Belushi, written by Judy Belushi Pisano and Tanner Colby.
Hirsch is great, but it’s still difficult to see him as a great choice for this part. Given that Dan Aykroyd is an exec producer on the film it seems unlikely that this movie will be focused solely on Belushi’s excesses and downfall, but even as part of a balanced narrative it’s difficult to see Hirsch really inhabiting Belushi. There are elements of his performances in the past that suggest he can get parts of Belushi’s personality down, but it’s difficult to imagine him going as big as he’ll have to. This will be an interesting one to see play out. [Variety]