Conrad had been co-writing the project with Hangover trilogy helmer Todd Phillips with the initial intention that Phillips would direct. However, now that studio Warner Brothers, who had been developing the script, has passed on the film, Phillips has stepped aside, leaving Conrad to direct the film as an indie project.
The Hollywood Reporter is stating that Phillips has already met with Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild) and Adam Devine (Comedy Central’s Workaholics) to play the lead role. They are further reporting that Joaquin Phoenix may have been under consideration for the role. Honestly, I’m not sure I don’t see any of these three actors in the role.
Additionally, Conrad has reportedly Nelson Franklin, who has appeared on Veep and New Girl, to play Belushi’s best friend and frequent co-star Dan Aykroyd.
It’s hard to full appreciate the impact that Belushi had on American comedy. As part of the original cast of Saturday Night Live, he helped to completely alter the landscape of how comedy was presented on comedy, bringing an anarchic freedom that had not really been seen before. And it was with his frequent collaborator Dan Aykroyd that he proved that a character from that late night series could live on outside of the show. In his case it was The Blues Brothers, who performed concerts and starred in their own eponymous big screen musical comedy film, paving the way for a number of lesser SNL sketch-to-screen films that followed. Can anyone really capture the spirit if the comic? It has been tried before with the rather appalling Wired. But just because they didn’t get it right doesn’t mean that Conrad won’t be able to either. Here’s hoping he has.