The 1980 classic crime comedy The Blues Brothers is about to get a whole new look. The movie, which grew out of a popular sketch on Saturday Night Live that starred Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as the title characters, featured Ellwood and Jake putting together their old band in an effort to raise enough money to save their boyhood home, a Catholic orphanage. Now, a primetime animated comedy series is in the works that will see the Blues Brothers and the band take their act on the road as they make the trip back home to Chicago.
THR reports that this animated series is the latest iteration of The Blues Brothers and will be executive produced by co-creators Aykroyd, Judy Belushi, and SNL writer Anne Beatts. Each episode will feature a curated score and soundtrack featuring soul, blues and R&B classics performed by the Blues Brothers. New performances made specifically for the show will also make an appearance, alongside special guest spots from rising talents, Blues legends and contemporary superstars alike. The Bento Box production, the same team that brought us Bob’s Burgers, is aiming the series at young adults.
Aykroyd described the project as follows:
“It’s so great to accelerate Jake and Elwood at digital speed into the 21st Century via the outstanding creative group at Bento Box. The show will be the Blues Brothers living in America and utilizing all new technology to make and promote their own records, seek out and record new artists and avoid law enforcement – and all while fighting for truth, justice and a better breakfast sandwich.”
For a little history lesson, the Blues Brothers first took to the stage of SNL in a musical comedy number in 1976. The band, backed by professional musicians, appeared on the show two more times in 1978, the same year that they released a full-length album. 1980 saw the release of their feature film, but Belushi’s death in 1982 all but put an end to the act’s prime time. The band continued to welcome in rotating guest musicians for performances, including a notable 1988 world tour. 1998 saw the release of Blues Brothers 2000 with John Goodman filling in for Belushi opposite Aykroyd. 2004 saw The Blues Brothers Revival musical adaptation performed in Chicago, but other bluesy news has been relatively quiet since then.
This project has long been in the works, with the most recent news before today coming back in 2011. Though it might seem like the decision to take The Blues Brothers in an animated direction could be the answer to finding the right way to portray Jake and Ellwood, I’ll kindly remind you that this was tried once before. In 1997, The Blues Brothers Animated Series actually had eight episodes produced, but the series never aired. Perhaps they’ll have better luck this time around!
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