It seems Hollywood is turning to real-life influence for a lot of movies that don’t involve comic book superheros or pot-smoking comedians. Several upcoming films based on biographical accounts have caught my eye recently, including Freddie Mercury, Janis Joplin, Elton John, and John Belushi! While there is only a script ready for the Mercury flick, and a pretty blatant hint from Queen that they’d like Ben Whishaw (Skyfall) to play the part, a Janis Joplin film is also in the works, and Amy Adams’ (Man of Steel) name is being tossed around to head that picture. Elton John, another big name in music, is also on the list of musicians to get a big-screen adaptation, with Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) taking on the biographical lead role. This film is supposedly going to be a musical based on John’s life but set to a fantasy backdrop, but we’ll see how that pans out.
Last on the list of biopics is the late comedian John Belushi (The Blues Brothers, Animal House). Several names have been tossed around for the lead role, including Adam Levine (Workaholics), Emile Hirsh (Into The Wild), and Joaquin Phoenix, but I honestly can’t imagine Phoenix (who did make a decent Johnny Cash) playing a character like Belushi. There is also a need to cast the real life characters of Belushi’s co-stars in both his films and the Saturday Night Live series, so the filmmakers have a big opportunity to get a really good cast together if they play their cards right, and provided they have a good script to work with. All of these movies are still in the production phases, so I have no idea when they might be coming out, but I can’t imagine them being released in too tight a sequence, so we’ll just keep our eyes open for now.