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Russell Crowe On For Bill Hicks Film
Directing not starring in the biopic

23 July 2012  |  Written by Phil de Semlyen  |  Source: The Telegraph

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Russell Crowe On For Bill Hicks Film

Rumours that Russell Crowe was planning to bring a Bill Hicks biopic to the screen have been bubbling away for a few years now, but the passion project is finally coming to fruition. Sydney's The Telegraph (via Indiewire) reports that the so-far untitled Hicks project will shoot next year, with Crowe making his directorial debut behind the camera.

"Bill Hicks' life is tragically short, but spectacularly interesting," Crowe's old schoolmate and the film's screenwriter Mark Staufer said. "The screenplay has gone through a number of drafts and we'll go into production early next year."

An acerbic chronicler of '80s and early '90s America blessed with a hyperkinetic intelligence and sandpaper delivery, Hicks was a lacerating thorn in the side of the gun lobby, organised religion and hypocrisy in general. He died in 1994 aged 32, an age difference that ultimately predicated against Crowe taking on his mantle on the other side of the camera.

The filmmakers behind 2010's excellent documentary American: The Bill Hicks Story revealed that Crowe was still in touch with the comedian's family with a view to making a film of his life, a relationship that should ensure that a wealth of archive material has been placed at the production's disposal. The next job is finding the right actor to play Hicks.

"It is a huge role for someone", says Staufer, "made all the more special, or downright scary, by the fact the director is an Oscar-winning actor like Russell".
 
While the casting process takes shape, share your thoughts on who should play the great man in the film. Off the top of Empire's head? Joseph Gordon-Levitt or Ryan Reynolds. Feel free to disagree...


Have Your Say
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Your Comments

Chris Maslen
I was a huge advocate for this guy...looks like he caught wind of it. Check out his audition video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U46NByDO-1U More

Posted by stevejones22 at 02:02 on 24 January 2014 | Report This Post

RE: Two Words
Come on Mike Myers More

Posted by TheSpleen at 09:49 on 30 July 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Two Words
NOT FUCKING SEAN PENN!!! ghting01.gif]opps sorry it's only me that really hates him. More

Posted by Wild about Wilder at 09:45 on 30 July 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Two Words
No idea why but I've got a hunch it'll be an actor everyone hates but does a stellar job in the end. Perhaps a full out comic after a good character role. Failing that I'm gonna predict James Franco gets a 'rumoured to be' nod soon. More

Posted by TheSpleen at 21:53 on 29 July 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Two Words
L: blindfold Sam Rockwell ood shout! More

Posted by Wild about Wilder at 11:13 on 27 July 2012 | Report This Post

RE: what about
L: bixieface Michael McIntyre. In the right light a dead ringer. He can do accents and he knows comedy. the only question is whether he can access a dark side sp; Aha, so this is where all the wrong congregates.   Agree with UTB, this is a completely pointless exercise. American: The Bill Hicks Story is a pretty definitive look at his life as is It's Just a Ride off the Totally Bill Hicks DVD. More

Posted by Harry Tuttle at 13:59 on 26 July 2012 | Report This Post

RE: what about
Seems pretty pointless to me - anyone with a passing interest in Hicks should check out the several stand up dvds with extra features, the books and American: The Bill Hicks Story. Everything you need is those. More

Posted by UTB at 13:05 on 26 July 2012 | Report This Post

RE: what about
You should be deeply ashamed of yourself for ever uttering the idea of such an abomination More

Posted by Jack'sSmirkinRevenge at 17:00 on 25 July 2012 | Report This Post

what about
Michael McIntyre. In the right light a dead ringer. He can do accents and he knows comedy. the only question is whether he can access a dark side More

Posted by bixieface at 08:47 on 25 July 2012 | Report This Post

Two words Bill Hicks!! But he's dead so.... What the hell .... Jay Leno. If your gonna trample on a mans legacy why not go "hog wild"? In fact why not Billy-Ray Sirus or Rush Limbaugh. How about both George Bush's (Bushes)?. Fuck Keith Coogan, what about Steve Coogan? Or the Dali Lama or the guy with the tash of On The Buses? Or even the woman of On The Buses, you know the one who's incomparable to Bill Hicks. Wait is any one comparable to Bill Hicks?? Oh Sam Rockwell he'd be good! Tra More

Posted by Potpan at 00:35 on 25 July 2012 | Report This Post

CHRIS MASLEN!
I think (yet) unknown American actor Chris Maslen out of Seattle would be PERFECT. He performed stand-up for a few years and went on some pretty spot-on Bill Hicks inspired rants that I caught a few times. Then I subsequently caught him a production of Othello at the Seattle Shakespeare Company. POLAR-opposite characterizations. I've spoken with Chris a few times about his stand-up and acting history (which, theatre-wise, is pretty expansive) and he apparently has Bill's Flying Saucer Tour all t More

Posted by stevejones22 at 23:39 on 24 July 2012 | Report This Post

Casting-wise, my instinct was Sam Rockwell but as that's been taken I reckon Eric Bana could make a good stab at it...former stand-up (although filming anyone on stage doing Hicks' routines seems like suicide) and has shown he can definitely do menacing and crazy. BUT, that's assuming Crowe can get past his natural po-faced attitude to film-making - there was plenty of tragedy in Hicks' life but surely a biopic needs to be at least blackly funny? More

Posted by sinaplenty at 17:21 on 24 July 2012 | Report This Post

I think the guy who plays Jim in the newsroom would be a good choice. More

Posted by billypunk at 16:59 on 24 July 2012 | Report This Post

I think the guy who plays Jim in the newsroom would be a good choice. More

Posted by billypunk at 16:41 on 24 July 2012 | Report This Post

Is a biopic necessary ...
... I think I would rather Just A Ride, One Night Stand, Relentless, Revelations, Sane Man and Totally were all shown on the big screen. I mean, come on ... can you come up with anyone who could play our favourite dark poet better than the man himself? Oh well, if nothing else it will be interesting to see how it is marketed given Bills well known stance on that particular subject! More

Posted by cjmcc5150 at 16:23 on 24 July 2012 | Report This Post

Casting
Ok, so, to be completely out there on this on but hey, why the hell not....Keith Coogan!! Strange one I know, but Adventures in babysitting was on last weekend and I took one look at a young Keith Coogan and thought he looked like a young Bill Hick. Put a wig on him now and hey, there's my suggestion! Google image him if ya not sure. More

Posted by Crooked Little Crow at 13:09 on 24 July 2012 | Report This Post

Casting
Ok, so, to be completely out there on this on but hey, why the hell not....Keith Coogan!! Strange one I know, but Adventures in babysitting was on last weekend and I took one look at a young Keith Coogan and thought he looked like a young Bill Hick. Put a wig on him now and hey, there's my suggestion! Google image him if ya not sure. More

Posted by Crooked Little Crow at 12:52 on 24 July 2012 | Report This Post

Two Words
Sam Rockwell More

Posted by blindfold at 12:50 on 24 July 2012 | Report This Post

Especially thank you to Bill Hicks for making me laugh at things that are too damned insane to be fiction... More

Posted by HarryBalsach at 21:36 on 23 July 2012 | Report This Post

Bill Hicks, anti-American? I guess if you think of people like Ben Franklin, Teddy Roosevelt, John F Kennedy or Abraham Lincoln "anti-American" because at least one thing they had in common with Bill Hicks was that they all taught us to stand up to tyrannical rule, in any form. Thank you to all of the above and es More

Posted by HarryBalsach at 21:32 on 23 July 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Russell Crowe On For Bill Hicks Film
L: Bender2 Like Bill Maher, all Bill Hicks comedy is all anti-American and plays great to a far-left audience but any film about him will be a financial failure. The majority of film goers do not hate the USA and traditional American Values while any and all fans of Bill Hicks/Bill Maher do hate the US with a passion.. ctually go listen to one of Hick's comedy albums and you will find that he was never anti-American. He just didn't like the people who were running the country. As More

Posted by MonsterCat at 21:12 on 23 July 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Bill Hicks early Bill Maher
Oh, would you look at that - a Bill O' Reilly viewer. More

Posted by Erlenmeyer Flask at 21:06 on 23 July 2012 | Report This Post

Bill Hicks early Bill Maher
Like Bill Maher, all Bill Hicks comedy is all anti-American and plays great to a far-left audience but any film about him will be a financial failure. The majority of film goers do not hate the USA and traditional American Values while any and all fans of Bill Hicks/Bill Maher do hate the US with a passion.. More

Posted by Bender2 at 19:40 on 23 July 2012 | Report This Post

I respectfully disagree
JGL or RR? No. This role should not go to a name star - too much baggage. It needs to be someone with experience of performing on stage in a hostile environment - another stand-up or a young actor with lots of theatre experience, I'd look to the sit-coms and comedy dramas for the actor. But one thing I'm pretty certain of - with Crowe in charge it is likely that whoever gets the role will not be american - I expect it'll be someone from Australia, New Zealand, Britain or Canada. More

Posted by Dr Science at 18:17 on 23 July 2012 | Report This Post

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