HOLLYWOOD – Following the announcement earlier today that Emile Hirsch will be playing the title role in the forthcoming John Belushi biopic, Beneath the Toga, directed by Steve Conrad, it was also revealed that Sean Penn would be stepping into the shoes of that other Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd.
The two actors have acted together before in Milk and Penn directed Hirsch in his true story film, Into the Wild. However, this time Penn says he will be glad to take second billing as the Canadian who stood next to John Belushi.
I’ve watched Emile from afar and from close up and I can tell you that he is multi-talented and will blow all the doubters out of the water. Many people have been saying: Emile Hirsch? John Belushi? Really? Well now they’re going to be saying: Sean Penn? Dan Aykroyd? Really? So things are changing.
As well as being in smash hit films like 1941 and Neighbors, Belushi was also quietly producing art house turns in such indy classics as Animal House and, with Aykroyd The Blues Brothers. “I have the accent perfect,” said Penn. “And now I need the look.”
Earlier, Emile Hirsch commented that he was attracted to the role of Belushi because of the number of pizza pies he will be allowed to eat as preparation.
Beneath the Toga will be released in 2014.