Steve Conrad (“The Pursuit of Happyness”) is writing the screenplay and the “SNL” star’s widow will exec produce
"The Hangover" director Todd Phillips will produce a biopic of former "Saturday Night Live" star John Belushi that Steve Conrad ("The Pursuit of Happyness") is writing, the duo's representation at CAA has confirmed to TheWrap.
Belushi, star of such landmark comedies as "National Lampoon's Animal House" and "The Blues Brothers," died of a tragic drug overdose in 1982 at age 33.
Warner Bros. recently acquired Belushi's life rights from the late comedian's estate. Alexandra Milchan and Bonnie Timmerman will also produce the project, which Phillips has not yet committed to direct, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the story.
Belushi's widow, Judith Belushi Pisano, will executive produce the biopic, having published "Belushi: A Biography" in 2005.
Belushi performed on "SNL" from 1975 until 1979, when he left the show to pursue a film career. The gifted actor helped pave the way for future stars including "SCTV's" John Candy and "SNL's" Chris Farley.
Belushi was previously played by Michael Chiklis in the feature adaptation of Bob Woodward's 1985 biography "Wired," as well as by Eric Siegel in ABC's 2002 telepic "Gilda Radner: It's Always Something."
Conrad is currently writing "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" for director Gore Verbinski and 20th Century Fox. He previously wrote "The Weather Man" and "The Promotion," the latter of which he also directed.
Phillips' road comedy "Due Date" opens in November through Warner Bros., where the director's production company Green Hat Films has a first-look deal. He's also producing the low-budget teen comedy "Project X," and will direct and produce "The Hangover 2," which is scheduled for release in May 2011.