Oscar winner Russell Crowe to helm comedian Bill Hicks biopic

Oscar winner Russell Crowe to helm comedian Bill Hicks biopic

PanARMENIAN.Net - Russell Crowe has confirmed that he will direct a biopic of Bill Hicks, The Guardian said citing Sydney’s Telegraph.

Crowe was originally thought to be playing the comedian, but Mark Staufer, the actor's schoolmate and writer on the film, has suggested the part is now 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," Staufer said. Casting will have to be finalised before production starts early next year.

Crowe is currently playing Noah in Darren Aronofsky's big-budget telling of the story of the ark, which is filming in Iceland. He's also set to appear as Dracula in Eli Roth's Bram Stoker adaptation, throw kung fu shapes in the RZA's The Man with the Iron Fists and go for a song in Tom Hooper's forthcoming version of Les Misérables.

The most recent movie representation of Hicks was Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas's documentary American: The Bill Hicks Story, which received good reviews on its release in 2010. Hicks, who died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 44, was known worldwide for his caustic wit and influential brand of aggressive standup. Crowe's respect for Hicks's work may stem from the fact that the hard-to-please comedian was unusually complimentary about the New Zealand-born actor's adopted home country, Australia. In a routine he performed in the early 90s, Hicks mocked Britain's 18th-century practice of sending convicts there. "Let me get this straight," says Hicks in the guise of a soon-to-be transported criminal, "you keep the shitty weather and the shitty food. And we get the Great Barrier Reef and lobsters the size of canoes."

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