Roughly 5-years after talk first emerged about actor Russell Crowe starring in a biopic about the late comedian Bill Hicks, things seem to be finally moving ahead. However, this most recent incarnation has Crowe directing instead of portraying the American satirist, musician and comedy legend.
Crowe, now 48, may be a little to grizzled to play Hicks who died of pancreatic cancer in 1994 at age 32, so the title role remains vacant for the time being. In an interview in the Sydney Telegraph, script writer Mark Staufer says that “Bill Hicks’ life is tragically short, but spectacularly interesting. The screenplay has gone through a number of drafts and we’ll go into production early next year.” The film will officially mark Russell Crowe’s first feature length directorial debut.
For those of you not familiar with Hicks, he was born in Georgia and started doing standup in Texas when he was 16-years old. He was always a controversial figure throughout his career, conversing and getting into it with the audience at his live shows and facing censorship wherever he went, mostly on the David Letterman show on NBC. At one point, Letterman removed one of Hicks’ entire segments which was a first then and hasn’t been done since. He has influenced countless numbers of comedians, from Denis Leary to Russell Brand and bands from Tool to Radiohead.