John Belushi only made seven full-length feature movies in his life, but there could have been many more.
Below, you’ll read about 15 projects – 14 movies and a brief TV cameo that he shot but was pulled after his death on March 4, 1982 – with which Belushi had been linked over the course of his life. Most were comedies, but a few were dramas that would have given him an opportunity to go beyond the audience’s expectations of him.
Two of them wound up being made and released before his death, while another six had been in various stages of development and were eventually made over the next four years with other actors. Four of those involved his friend Dan Aykroyd. The duo had displayed their chemistry on Saturday Night Live and through three films in six years, 1941, The Blues Brothers and Neighbors, the last of which was Belushi’s final screen credit.
And then there were another five – including a sequel to Animal House and another he was writing in his final days – that were scrapped after his death, although two were unsuccessfully attempted with other actors.
As classic as Ghostbusters and Arthur were, it’s nonetheless tantalizing to try to imagine what Belushi could have brought to the roles made famous by Bill Murray and Dudley Moore, and how he would have been a natural to play Ignatius J. Reilly in a filmed version of A Confederacy of Dunces. And while it’s not hard to figure out why he would want to star opposite Robert DeNiro in Once Upon a Time in America, his reasons for lobbying to be in The Blue Lagoon seem less obvious.
Check them all out below.