A biopic film about the life of US comedian and musician Bill Hicks is on the horizon, and is set to be directed by none other than Russell Crowe. Unlike previous reports have suggested, Crowe will not be appearing in the film himself, and the part of Hicks is currently open for casting.
"It is a huge role for someone, made all the more special, or downright scary, by the fact the director is an Oscar-winning actor like Russell," writer Mark Staufer said
Staufer, an old schoolmate of Crowe’s, has written the script for the project which is expected to begin production early next year.
"Bill Hicks' life is tragically short, but spectacularly interesting," Staufer said
. "The screenplay has gone through a number of drafts and we'll go into production early next year."
The most recent project made about the life of the late comedian, who died in 1994, was the 2010 documentary American: The Bill Hicks Story
, directed by Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas.
Hicks’ short life saw him rise to fame during the early 90s, after the release of his first album Dangerous
, and his performance as part of a group of American stand-up comedians taking on London’s West End. He died of pancreatic cancer in 1994, aged 32.
Before taking on this project, Crowe is certainly keeping busy. The Gladiator
actor is currently playing Noah in a Darren Aronofsky feature about the biblical tale of Noah’s arc. His next big onscreen appearance will be taking place in December with the release of the film adaptation of popular musical Les Miserables
, where Crowe will be playing the part of Inspector Javert and giving audiences a taste of his true singing chops.
One of the most blatant links between Crowe and Hicks can be found in some of Hicks’ stand-up routines, where he was particularly complimentary of Crowe’s adopted country, Australia.
"Let me get this straight," Hicks said, pretending to be a soon-to-be transported English convict in one of his routines, "you keep the shitty weather and the shitty food. And we get the Great Barrier Reef and lobsters the size of canoes."
This will be the first feature film directed by Crowe, who has previously only tested out his directorial skills in short films and video clips for his wife, Australian singer-songwriter Danielle Spencer.