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Showtime Greenlights Belushi Documentary

Showtime will air a feature-length documentary about the comic legend John Belushi, with the filmmakers R.J. Cutler and John Battsek producing it. The network and producers previously collaborated on the Marlon Brando documentary Listen to Me Marlon.

Directed and produced by Cutler and produced by Battsek, the documentary is set to begin production in the fall, with Belushi collaborator Sean Daniel an executive producer along with Bill Couturie.

“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,” said Cutler. “At that moment, he had the number one show on television, the number one film at the box office, and the number one record on the charts. We plan to explore his unique genius and how his creative influence is still making an impact to this moment.”

The manic Belushi was a cast member on Saturday Night Live, and his films include Animal House and The Blues Brothers. He died following a drug overdose in 1982, at the age of 33.

For the first time, according to Showtime, Belushi’s widow, Judith Belushi Pisano, will cooperate with the making of a film about the late comedian’s life.

“This is a film I have wanted to make for many years as John was a great hero of mine. Having Judy 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,” commented 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.”

The film will be produced in association with European outfit Sky Atlantic.