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John Belushi documentary in the works at Showtime

By
Karen Butler
Image of John Belushi courtesy of Showtime
Image of John Belushi courtesy of Showtime

LOS ANGELES, May 31 (UPI) -- Showtime says it is teaming up with filmmakers R.J. Cutler and John Battsek on a feature-length documentary about the late comic icon John Belushi.

Judy Belushi Pisano -- the Saturday Night Live star's wife -- has agreed to cooperate with the making of the film, which will be helmed by Cutler and produced by Battsek, the cable network said.

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"Belushi was one of my very first heroes. At a time when film, television, and music were undergoing tectonic shifts within American culture, he was at the center of it all," Cutler said in a statement.

"At that moment, he had the No. 1 show on television, the No. 1 film at the box office, and the No. 1 record on the charts. We plan to explore his unique genius and how his creative influence is still making an impact to this moment."

"This is a film I have wanted to make for many years as John was a great hero of mine. Having Judy's cooperation for the first time on a feature documentary of his life is very special and means we know we will be making a truly authentic film," added Battsek. "We plan to assemble a deep and three-dimensional look into the life of a man of great complexity and talent who went on to become an American comedic icon."

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"John Battsek and I have been discussing the possibility of making this film for over a decade," remarked Judy Belushi Pisano. "I'm thrilled to finally embark upon that journey together with him and director R.J. Cutler. Passion Pictures is poised to make the definitive documentary on John Belushi -- a man who not only had a profound effect on the comedy landscape of America, but also made an indelible mark on the social fabric of his time, which continues to reverberate today."

John Belushi, who also starred in the comedy films Animal House and The Blues Brothers, died of a drug overdose in 1982. He was 33.

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