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Emile Hirsch has been cast as John Belsuhi in Steve Conrad’s untitled biopic about the larger-than-life comic actor.
Emjag’s Alexandra Milchan, Bonnie Timmermann, Film 360′s Scott Lambert and Judy Belushi Pisano are producing. Belsuhi Pisano was the actor’s high school sweetheart and had been his wife for six years at the time of his death in 1982.
Filming will start in New York City in the spring. Hirsch will be 29 when production starts.
Conrad will direct from his own script, adapted from the 2005 biography "Belushi,” written by Belushi Pisano and Tanner Colby.
Belushi’s "Saturday Night Live” castmate and close friend Dan Aykroyd is exec producing.
The film will cover the heights of Belushi’s fame in "The Blues Brothers” as Jake Blues and "Animal House” as John Blutarsky along with being the biggest star on the first four seasons of "Saturday Night Live.” The series, which launched in 1975, included Belushi’s introductions of the Blues Brothers and Samurai Warrior characters along with memorable impressions of Wiliam Shatner, Joe Cocker, Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor.
The film will also cover his unexpected death at age 33 from an overdose of a mixture of cocaine and heroin at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles.
Hirsch will next be seen in the miniseries "Bonnie and Clyde” and in "Lone Survivor” opposite Mark Wahlberg. His credits include "Into the Wild,” "Killer Joe,” "Milk” and "Prince Avalanche,” which won the best director award for David Gordon Green at Berlin this year.
Conrad wrote the screenplay for Ben Stiller’s "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”
Upcoming Film 360 projects include the untitled Steve Job biography, to be adapted by Aaron Sorkin; "Sesame Street”; and "Good People,” starring James Franco and Kate Hudson and currently in post-production.
Hirsch is represented by WME, Silver Lining Entertainment and attorney Robert Offer. Conrad is repped by CAA. Aykroyd is represented by CAA and attorney Alan Hergott of Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman.