Adam Pally to Star in John Belushi Biopic

A biopic about John Belushi has been in the works for years now. The most recent iteration had Broadway’s Beetlejuice star Alex Brightman in talks to lead the movie, and that was just this past December. But apparently that didn’t work out, because now Happy Endings star Adam Pally is in talks to take the role of the legendary Saturday Night Live cast member who would go on to steal the show in National Lampoon’s Animal House and rock the jailhouse in The Blues Brothers.

Collider has the latest update on the John Belushi biopic. Adam Pally is the latest in a long line of actors who have been linked to the part, including Emile Hirsch, Adam DeVine, and even Joaquin Phoenix. Pally has a similar screen presence as Belushi, though there’s a cadence and sound in his voice that feels like it doesn’t quite match Belushi. But hopefully he’s a good enough actor to really lean into the role and disappear into it.

Along with Adam Pally, the cast also has Neighbors co-star Ike Barinholtz on board to play Belushi’s comedy cohort Dan Aykroyd, who co-created The Blues Brothers with Belushi. In addition, Aubrey Plaza is on the list to possibly play Belushi’s wife, Judith Belushi Pisano. However, it’s not clear if the real Aykroyd and Belushi Pisano are on board creatively, though the former was previously on board to executive produce when the project was developing back in 2013.

This is a solid cast so far, though anyone in this movie has the difficult task of playing comedians who are incredibly well known by the viewing public. These actors have to be careful to portray these stars accurately but without simply doing a basic impression of them. That might mean they won’t sound exactly like the big stars we know, but they’ll hopefully capture their essence in a deeper way. And there will be plenty of famous names who will be part of the story; the script is said to include the likes of Robin Williams, Keith Richards, and Rick James, and, more than likely, all the original Saturday Night Live cast members.

The John Belushi biopic, simply titled Belushi, will be directed by David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) and has a script written by Steve Conrad (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty). But that script was written nearly a decade ago, so it might need to be updated. Alexandra Milchan (The Wolf of Wall Street) and Scott Lambert are on board as producers by way of the Emjag Productions banner.

As someone who loves these kind of showbiz stories, I’m hoping for the best. But knowing the tragedy of John Belushi’s death at the young age of 33 due to a drug overdose, this has the danger of falling into the same cliched territory of many music biopics. Perhaps the refreshing presence of such recognizable characters will make the proceedings that much more compelling. Hopefully we’ll find out soon enough.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: