Four years after Showtime announced that an authorized John Belushi documentary was in the works, the first trailer and release date for the film is finally here. On Wednesday, Showtime released the trailer for Belushi, a feature-length documentary about the comedy legend and Saturday Night Live alum. The film, directed by R.J. Cutler, is set to debut on the network on Sunday, November 22 and will feature interviews from those who knew Belushi best, including Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Penny Marshall, and more.
Per Showtime's official description, "From his early years growing up in Wheaton, Illinois, John Belushi showed an extraordinary talent for comedy and music. It was a visit to the Second City theater in Chicago where he discovered his true calling, and from that moment John became an unstoppable and pioneering force in the comedy world. From National Lampoon's Lemmings and Radio Hour to one of the founding cast members on Saturday Night Live, his insatiable drive kept the candle burning at both ends. John simultaneously appeared on SNL each Saturday night while filming Animal House and forming a band, The Blues Brothers. The result: By age thirty Belushi was on the #1 television show, had the #1 comedy in movie history and the #1 record album in the world. But as John's fame grew, so did his demons, and not even Judy could save him from the drug use that would eventually take his life This film captures the complicated and singular essence of a beloved American icon who changed culture and comedy forever."
In addition to interviews with Belushi's friends and family, the documentary will also feature never-before-seen photos from the collection of the comedian's widow, Judy Belushi Pisano.
Belushi died on March 5, 1982 at the age of 33 from combined drug intoxication. Over the course of his career, he starred in a number of films, including National Lampoon's Animal House and The Blues Brothers. He was a founding cast member of Saturday Night Live and appeared in 79 episodes. Despite his short life and career, Belushi has had a lasting impact on entertainment. When the documentary was first announced in 2016, director Cutler referred to Belushi as one of his very first heroes.
"Belushi was one of my very first heroes," Cutler said (via Rolling Stone). "At a time when film, television and music were undergoing tectonic shifts within American culture, he was at the center of it all. 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.
Belushi debuts on Showtime on November 22nd.
Photo by Richard McCaffrey/ Michael Ochs Archive/ Getty Images.