Hitchcock. Scorsese. Belushi? Yes, critics of the world -- start sharpening your pencils. Variety is reporting that James Belushi has signed to make his feature directorial debut for Lionsgate. The film will be called The Catch, and is the true story of a 42 year-old man who returns to school and plays college football. Belushi will play the lead role in addition to co-producing and directing the film. Belushi has directed before -- he's been behind the camera for over 30 episodes of his much-mocked ABC sitcom According to Jim. Hey, you gotta start somewhere, right? David Murray is writing the script for The Catch. Apparently Murray is the go-to football guy these days -- he also wrote an upcoming biopic of Vince Lombardi (called Lombardi) that was produced by NFL Films.
The Catch tells the life story of Marty Reichman. Reichman was "on the verge of losing his job and his marriage when he decided to keep a promise to his father and return to college. He finds he's eligible to play ball and makes the team as tight end." I can't tell from the synopsis what tone the film will have. It could be a serious, touching sports film along the lines of the The Rookie with Dennis Quaid, or a broad old-guy-in-college comedy a la Back to School with Rodney Dangerfield. Belushi has been something of a punchline for years now, and I'm not sure when or why that started. Maybe it was K-9. Perhaps it was K-911. It certainly could have been K-9: P.I. Regardless, despite a career chock full of questionable choices, I've always found the man to be a likable actor, especially as sidekicks in two overlooked romantic comedies -- Only the Lonely and Return to Me. Maybe this could be a comeback story on and off screen?