Joaquin Phoenix is in the running to play the lead in the John Belushi biopic.

'The Master' actor faces stiff competition from 'Into The Wild' star Emile Hirsch to front the film about the late comedian. 'Pitch Perfect' actor Adam DeVine is also said to be in the running for the role.

The movie will chronicle Belushi's career as one of the original cast members of entertainment show 'Saturday Night Live' and his ultimately fatal battle with drug abuse.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that writer and director Steve Conrad, who took over from 'The Hangover' herlmer Todd Phillips, is considering TV actor Nelson Franklin for the part of Belushi's friend and collaborator Dan Ackroyd.

The film is being produced by Ackroyd himself, who memorably starred opposite Belushi in 'The Blues Brothers' and '1941' as well as working with him on 'Saturday Night Live'. Belushi's widow Judy Belushi Pisano is set to co-produce.

This isn't the first time the comedian - who passed away age 33 from a drug overdose at the Chateau Marmont in 1982 - has had his story brought to life on the big screen.

A 1989 adaptation of Bob Woodward's book 'Wired' saw Michael Chiklis portray Belushi, but the movie was reportedly shunned by the star's friends and family.