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Top filmmakers making ‘deep and three-dimensional’ John Belushi doc for Showtime

The life and times of comic legend John Belushi will be coming to screen, thanks to an upcoming Showtime project. The premium network today announced plans to produce the feature-length documentary, with acclaimed filmmakers R.J. Cutler and John Battsek on board. The film will be the first made with the cooperation of Belushi’s widow, Judith Belushi Pisano.

Known for roles in Saturday Night Live and the 1978 film Animal House, as well as being one of The Blues Brothers, Belushi made a name for himself as a comedian, actor, and musician. Sadly, he died young, succumbing to drugs at age 33. Pisano has previously opened up about his life in her 1990 memoir, Samurai Widow, and the 2005 Belushi: A Biography.

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“John Battsek and I have been discussing the possibility of making this film for over a decade,” said Belushi Pisano in a statement. “I’m thrilled to finally embark upon that journey together with him and director R.J. Cutler.”

Battsek also shared his enthusiasm for the project, promising “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.”

The documentary is in good hands with Cutler directing as well as producing alongside Battsek. The duo previously collaborated with Showtime on the documentary Listen to Me Marlon, winning a Peabody Award. Their credits also include The September Issue and Searching For Sugar Man, respectively.

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

Sean Daniel, a Belushi collaborator, and Bill Couturie are also on board, serving as executive producers. The film is to be produced in association with Sky Atlantic. So far, no premiere date has been announced, but production is slated to begin this fall.