Posted on Thursday, November 11th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
No, this isn’t news about another film based on the life of John Belushi. It is notice that producers Ralph Singleton and Joan Singleton have optioned the Kathy Charles novel John Belushi is Dead, in which a pair of high school friends spend their time visiting the scenes of celebrity deaths.
Let’s go to the description of the novel:
Pink-haired Hilda and oddball loner Benji are not your typical teenagers. Instead of going to parties or hanging out at the mall, they comb the city streets and suburban culs-de-sac of Los Angeles for sites of celebrity murder and suicide. Bound by their interest in the macabre, Hilda and Benji neglect their schoolwork and their social lives in favor of prowling the most notorious crime scenes in Hollywood history and collecting odd mementos of celebrity death.
Hilda and Benji’s morbid pastime takes an unexpected turn when they meet Hank, the elderly, reclusive tenant of a dilapidated Echo Park apartment where a silent movie star once stabbed himself to death with a pair of scissors. Hilda feels a strange connection with Hank and comes to care deeply for her paranoid new friend as they watch old movies together and chat the sweltering afternoons away. But when Hank’s downstairs neighbor Jake, a handsome screenwriter, inserts himself into the equation and begins to hint at Hank’s terrible secrets, Hilda must decide what it is she’s come to Echo Park searching for . . . and whether her fascination with death is worth missing out on life.
Ghost World is the first thing that comes to mind, though a deeper investigation into John Belushi is Dead suggests that the similarity between the two stories is pretty superficial. But it’s a starting point from which you can get into the idea of how questions of life and death are explored in this novel.
Variety reports that Joan Singleton will adapt the novel. Her last writing credit was Because of Winn-Dixie, and she also worked on the Stephen King adaptation Graveyard Shift, which Ralph Singleton directed. So, not seemingly the best CV as far as indication a future for this adaptation, but we’ll keep an eye on it.