Back in February, we told you about a possible Blues Brothers television series that was being worked on by John Belushi’s widow Judy and writer Anne Beattes, who worked on Saturday Night Live in the same era that launched the musical act. Variety is now reporting that a pilot script has been written and is currently being shopped around Hollywood. The script has been written by Judy Belushi, Beattes and Wayne Catania and Kieron Lafferty, the two singers currently portraying Jake and Elwood in the official Blues Brothers Revue that is currently touring.
The plot of the new series would have the Brothers just getting out of prison after a 20 year stretch and heading out on the road to find Elwood’s real father. The show would feature a new Blues Brothers Band and a musical number in each episode.
Judy Belushi described the project by saying “I think these are great American characters. We want to keep them alive. We chose to introduce them as new characters but do it in an way that they have some history, have some life behind them.”
Beatts elaborated by explaining, “We’re not trying to replicate Dan and John but Jake and Elwood… It would be Route 66‘ meets Glee, and it all goes to hell in a handbasket.”
While I admire the idea, I remain leery of the execution. To many, including myself, Jake and Elwood were Belushi and Aykroyd, and anyone else playing them would be sacrilegious. The one thing giving me some optimism is that Aykroyd has apparently given the project his blessing by agreeing to appear in the show as the voice of the Brothers’ parole officer.
This isn’t the first time that there has been an attempt to bring Jake and Elwood back to the medium that they started on. In 1997, television network UPN ordered up an animated Blues Brothers series that would have featured the voices of Dan Aykroyd’s brother Peter and James Belushi as Elwood and Jake. Mark Hamill was also in the cast as a law-enforcement agent pursuing the Brothers. Eight episodes were produced before the network brass changed and the incoming executives decided not to air the show. The completed episodes have never been screened.