Into the Wild actor Emile Hirsch is to play Blues Brothers star John Belushi in a biopic about the comic’s life.
The yet-to-be-titled independent film will be written and directed by Steve Conrad, whose previous films include The Pursuit of Happiness starring Will Smith, and The Weather Man with Nicolas Cage.
The film, which will begin shooting in New York next spring, will see the actor’s life presented as an allegory of the glory and tragedy of the American dream.
The script will be based on a 2005 biography of the star co-written by Belushi’s widow Judy.
Belushi's life will be mapped from his days as an original cast member of the US TV show Saturday Night Live, his acting in films The Blues Brothers and Animal House, up until his fatal drug overdose aged 33 at the Chateau Marmont hotel, Los Angeles, in 1982.
The role is hoped to revive 28-year-old Hirsch's career, who was tipped for fame in the noughties for his work in The Girl Next Door and Speed Racer. When these films failed to spark notable interest, he chose to focus on playing characters in independent productions.
Dan Aykroyd, one of Belushi’s best friends and fellow Blues Brothers star, will serve as the film's executive producer.