The late, great comedian John Belushi is but one of several deceased celebrities whose death becomes the obsession of a young teenager in the novel John Belushi is Dead, which has been optioned by producers Joan and Ralph Singleton.
This macabre tale – which sounds like ripe material for a dark Hollywood production – is not related to the Belushi biopic, which we’ve heard rumblings about here and there as of late.
Variety broke the story about the optioning of John Belushi is Dead, which revolves around pink-haired Hilda and her friend Benji, a pair of loner teens who bond over their mutual obsession with collecting information about and mementos of notorious celebrity deaths. Things then take a turn for the bizarre when Hilda forms a friendship with Hank, the reclusive tenant of a dilapidated Echo Park apartment – the place in which a silent movie star once murdered himself – and discovers that her new companion’s past is full of dark and disturbing secrets that could affect her own life.
Joan Singleton penned the screenplay for the adaptation of the family-friendly, girl-meets-dog story Because of Winn-Dixie, and plans to do the same with the much more adult John Belushi is Dead as well. There’s no word yet as to who the Singletons want to direct a film adaptation of the story – someone with darker inclinations, a la David Fincher?
While the plot of John Belushi is Dead does bear a passing resemblance to the graphic novel Ghost World, the former is much more a Noir coming of age story that is closer in tone to Let the Right One In (minus the whole vampire thing). The project might not have a good deal of mainstream appeal, but there’s definitely an audience for this kind of flick.
We’ll keep you posted on any new developments concerning the John Belushi is Dead movie.