John Belushi biopic being developed by Todd Phillips

'The Hangover' director acquires rights from Belushi's estate

A biopic about the late screen legend John Belushi is being developed by The Hangover director Todd Phillips.

Phillips has teamed up with The Pursuit of Happyness screenwriter Steven Conrad to produce a film about the life of the actor, although he has not yet committed to directing, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

John Belushi died of a drug overdose at the age of 33 in 1982. His family boycotted a 1989 film of his life, which was adapted from the Watergate journalist Bob Woodward’s book Wired: The Short Life And Fast Times of John Belushi, which was widely criticised by his family and friends.

Belushi was one of the original performers on Saturday Night Live in 1975, and was a frequent collaborator with fellow comedian Dan Aykroyd. It has not been revealed whether the rights to prominent people in Belushi’s life, such as Aykroyd, manager Bernie Brillstein and Chevy Chase, have been acquired.

Comedians touted for the lead role include The Hangover star Zach Galifianakis and Knocked Up actors Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill.

Belushi’s widow Judith Belushi Pisano will act as executive producer on the film.