Emile Hirsch Will Play John Belushi In New Film

Emile Hirsch will play John Belushi in a new film about the late "Saturday Night Live" star's life, this according to multiple trade reports from TheWrap, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.

Steve Conrad, who wrote the script for Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," will write and direct the indie film, which Belushi's widow, Judy Belushi Pisano, Emjag's Alexandra Milchan, Bonnie Timmermann and Film 360's Scott Lambert are producing. Dan Aykroyd is listed as an executive producer.

Hirsch was named as a possibility for the role last week in a report by THR. (Adam Devine and Joaquin Phoenix were highlighted as other contenders.) The idea of doing a biofilm about John Belushi, meanwhile, has kicked around for years. Todd Phillips was originally attached to direct this particular project before Conrad replaced him at the helm.

"Our goal is not to do a traditional biopic approach with it that people expect, whether you're talking about 'Walk the Line' or 'Ray.' All good movies, but our goal is not to make that typical biopic," Phillips told MTV back in 2010. "We want to make a movie that, if John Belushi saw it, he would be happy that it captured his spirit. Sometimes I feel that they don't entirely capture the spirit of the person they're about. Our goal is to capture the spirit of Belushi, not necessarily make a straight-ahead biopic."

Belushi, an original cast member on "SNL," died at the age of 33 following an accidental overdose of heroin and cocaine.

According to a press release announcing the news, production on the film will begin in the spring of 2014.

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