Miles Teller in The Spectacular Now

Can you see Emile Hirsch as a young John Belushi? Well, how about Miles Teller as a young Dan Aykroyd?

Hirsch, who has been set to play the late Animal House star in Steve Conrad‘s biopic since last fall, announced over the weekend that Teller would play the part of Aykroyd. Should he close his deal, he won’t have to look far to research the role — the real Aykroyd is serving as one of the producers on the project. Hit the jump for more details on the movie.

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Emile Hirsch Will Play John Belushi

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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]

John Belushi as Bumble Bee at Skating Rink

We’re all just going to pretend Wired, that ill-fated screen version of a John Belishi biography, never happened. (Sorry, Michael Chiklis.) But that doesn’t mean that Hollywood wants Belushi to be forgotten, and in fact there’s another screen biography brewing about the late comedian and actor.

The same project that once had The Hangover director Todd Phillips tied to the director’s chair now has a new director, and a handful of potential stars as well. They include Emile Hirsch and Joaquin Phoenix, neither of whom springs to mind as a first choice, but each of whom has an appeal that becomes evident after some thought. Read More »

You can almost hear the rhythmic chants of “Toga, Toga, Toga” bellowing in the rafters already. The New York Times reports John Landis’ landmark 1978 comedy, Animal House, is being adapted into a Broadway musical with help from Canadian rockers Barenaked Ladies and Book of Mormon co-director Casey Nicholaw. Universal Pictures Stage Productions announced the production on the 30th anniversary of the death of the film’s star John Belushi. Read more after the break. Read More »

The Blues Brothers got their start on TV, made a big splash on the big screen and now might be dancing back to the boob tube. Variety reports a new take on the classic comedy duo is being shopping around to possibly become a new television series. The show would see Jake and Elwood, famously played by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, just released from jail looking for Elwood’s real father. Both parts would obviously be recast and, if the show makes it to series, it would include a new musical number each week. There’s more after the jump. Read More »

I wasn’t planning to write about Gallery1988′s first annual “Is This Thing On” art show as it really has little connection to movies or television (or so I thought… the above piece featuring Judd Apatow mashed-up with the infamous Star Trek Tribbles episode is a fine example of this). The show, co-sponsored by FunnyOrDie, features over 100 artists, each creating pieces that are portraits of their favorite funny people, both beloved comics of yesteryear and emerging superstars.

The line up of comedians depicted include: Chris Farley, Will Ferrel, Richard Pryor, Don Rickles, Paul Reubens,Tim & Eric, Nick Kroll, Demetri Martin, Chris Rock, Whitney Cummings, Jon Lovitz, Sam Kinison, Bill Murray, Woody Allen, Colin Quinn, Bill Hicks, Howard Stern, Judd Apatow, Chris Hardwick, Marc Maron, Scott Auckerman, David Spade, Andy Dick, Lenny Bruce, Adam Sandler, Amy Sedaris, Lisa Lampanelli, David Cross, Andy Kaufman, Christopher Guest, Mr. Show, Rob Corddry and Children’s Hospital, Gilbert Gottfried, Jeffrey Ross, Bill Cosby, Bobcat Goldthwait, Tracy Morgan, Roseanne, Patton Oswalt, Dave Attell, David Wain and Wet Hot American Summer, Will Forte, John Candy, Lilly Tomlin, Phil Hartman, John Belushi, Mel Brooks and Young Frankenstein, Chevy Chase, Louis CK, Norm MacDonald, Flight of the Conchords, Jim Carrey, Reggie Watts, Steve Martin, Larry David, Rodney Dangerfield, Mitch Hedberg, Ellen DeGenerous, Margaret Cho, Steven Wright, Conan O’Brien, David Letterman, Richard Lewis, George Carlin, UCB Theater LA, Upright Citizen Brigade (TV show), Human Giant, Sasha Baron Cohen, Gallagher, Dana Carvey, Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, Danny McBride, Carrot Top, Greg Giraldo, Donald Glover, Zach Galifiankis, Charlene Yi, Andrew “Dice” Clay, Chris Elliot, Jon Lovitz, Artie Lange, Doug Benson, Redd Foxx, Ben Stiller, Ricky Gervais, Dave Chapelle, Chelsea Handler, Aziz Ansari, Eddie Murphy, SF Sketchfest, Cheech & Chong, Sarah Silverman, Stella, Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Brian Posehn, Charlie Murphy and Kids In The Hall.
The show is ongoing until January 29th 2011 in the Melrose Gallery 1988 location. Hirt the jump to see some of my favorite pieces of art from the exhibition.

Todd Phillips Producing New John Belushi Biopic

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John Belushi has already been brought back to life on the big screen thanks to the film adaptation of Bob Woodward’s controversial Belushi biography Wired, but apparently one Belushi biopic isn’t enough. Steven Conrad (writer of The Pursuit of Happyness) and Todd Phillips (The Hangover, Old School) are teaming to develop a new biopic about the late comedian. Read More »

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Someone at the Vatican is taking the Blues Brothers line “we’re on a mission from God” a little too seriously. Over the years, Catholic authorities at the Vatican have endorsed a number of films as being recommended viewing for good Catholics. It’s mostly the expected stuff: The Passion of the Christ, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Ten Commandments.

Now The Blues Brothers has been added to the list. Must’ve been Aretha Franklin’s line about two guys looking like ‘Hasidic diamond merchants’ that put the film over the top. Read More »

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