John Belushi Is Dead Adaptation Planned

All in the best possible taste?

John Belushi Is Dead Adaptation Planned

by Owen Williams |
Published on

The title's misleading. John Belushi is Dead**, just optioned for the screen by producers Ralph and Joan Singleton, isn't a Belushi biopic along the lines of Wired, but a "young adult" novel, written by Kathy Charles.

In fact, Belushi doesn't have a great part to play in the story at all, besides being one stop on a trail of dead celebrities followed by morbid teens Hilda and Benji, who collect mementos from the sites of famous deaths, murders and suicides. James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Sharon Tate, Bobby Kennedy and Nicole Brown Simpson are further stops on their route, but when Hilda befriends Hank, an old man living in an apartment where a famous silent movie actor once stabbed himself to death, events take a (more) sinister turn.

A few ghosts of projects past in there: inhaling from the bottle we're getting hints of Kalifornia (serial killer researchers get in over their heads) and a whiff of Paul Auster's The Book of Illusions (mystery surrounding vanished silent movie star). One reviewer likened it to "Juno with dead celebrities", which might have pushed it into Hard Candy territory, but given the YA angle, we're guessing this won't be any stronger than Disturbia.

Reflecting the questionable taste of the project, the auction for the book's rights was held at the Chateau Marmont, where Belushi died in 1982. The Singletons previously wrote and produced Because of Winn-Dixie, and plan to do the same here. No word of a director, cast or possible start date yet.

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