Dan Aykroyd and Judy Belushi (widow of John Belushi) have teamed up to plan a full-scale Blues Brothers revival – with the possibility of an animated series, Broadway musical, books, and pretty much any other medium they can get.
Back in August of last year, Aykroyd and Belushi’s widow began talks to resuscitate the comatose franchise by forming Blues Brothers Approved Ventures LLC — and were later joined by Panacea founder and chairman Eric Gardner to develop and produce a Blues Brothers primetime TV series.
Pimping out the trademark black fedora as far as it will go, the motivated team have their sights set on an animated series, a Broadway musical, licensing, endorsements, a branded radio network, books, telephony and a heightened Web and social networking presence.
Additionally, The Official Blues Brothers Revue (which has been touring around the US) is currently seeking a Las Vegas residency. The tribute band stars Wayne Catania and Kieron Lafferty, as Jake and Elwood respectively, and the duo’s former Las Vegas show inspired an A&E docudrama titled Lost in Las Vegas.
Jake and Elwood may have been on a mission from god, but Aykroyd had this to say about Blues Brothers Approved Ventures LLC’s new higher calling:
“Thirty years after Jake passed through the veil, the Blues Brothers are being introduced to not one but two entirely new generations of music lovers. Judy and I welcome the experienced guiding hand of Eric Gardner, who envisions ways of expanding our reach and impact which we never even thought of.”
Gardner goes on to add:
“The Blues Brothers is one of the world’s most iconic brands. Like Coca-Cola and Nike, it speaks volumes that Jake and Elwood are instantaneously recognizable simply from a few illustrative brushstrokes: black fedoras, sunglasses and skinny ties. I look forward to working with Danny and Judy to expand their brand across multiple platforms around the globe.”
For those too young to remember—The original Blues Brothers were formed as a musical guest for SNL by Aykroyd and the late John Belushi in the 1970s, and then later went on to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 1979 with their live album Briefcase Full of Blues, as well as a blockbuster movie which became a cult-hit in 1980s.
To call Aykroyd’s plan to resurrect the Blues Brothers ambitious would be an understatement. Following the initial SNL skits and the first successful blockbuster film, the franchise has not really been doing much. The 1998 sequel to the original 1980s musical comedy, Blues Brother 2000, was met by mixed reviews at best, and really didn’t do much to further the series. Even the idea of a Blues Brothers animated show was tested out in early 1997 – but the show never made it to pilot at UPN.
But, hey, with Ghostbusters 3 off the table for the foreseeable future, you might as well do something…
Stay turned for more updates on Dan Aykroyd’s herculean plan for The Blues Brothers when it comes up.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter