Russell Crowe to direct Bill Hicks biopic

Sparks may fly. Notoriously prickly actor Russell Crowe has confirmed that he will be directing the biopic of Bill Hicks, the confrontational comedian who died in 1994 aged 32. It will be Crowe’s debut as a director. Despite initial assumptions that Crowe would play Hicks himself, it seems the role has not yet been cast.

"It is a huge role for someone," writer Mark Staufer said, "made all the more special, or downright scary, by the fact the director is an Oscar-winning actor like Russell." The production is scheduled to start shooting early in 2013 so finding the actor capable of playing Hicks is a matter of some urgency.

Hicks was known for his caustic delivery and sociopathic stage persona. He claimed his parents were worried about his behaviour as a teenager and took him to an analyst. Hicks said the analyst took him for one session and told him "It’s them, not you." The Hicks legend grew after his death, fed by DVDs and a documentary by Paul Thomas. In a Channel 4 survey of the world’s all-time greatest stand-ups, Hicks came in at number four.

Crowe is currently filming with Darren Aronofsky, playing Noah in the director’s big-budget version of the story of the Ark. Filming is taking place in Iceland (although the UK’s weather would have made it an ideal location).

Crowe is also scheduled to play Dracula in Eli Roth’s new vampire movie, although they had a falling out on Twitter on the issue of infant circumcision (Crowe was against, Roth for).

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