Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
Interstellar Review
The Making Of The West Wing
Get 12 Issues For Only £25 Today
The perfect gift this Christmas
London Film Festival 2014
Our round-up of the galas, films and interviews
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
Exclusive New Clip From What We Do In The Shadows
Time for some new fangled technology
Podcast #135: Daniel Radcliffe, Laura Dern
The Halloween / Marvel slate announcement special!
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
21 October 2014
Kim Basinger Joins The Nice Guys
As a corrupt chief justice
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
Noah (2014)
Empire Star Rating
A New York Winter’s Tale
Empire Star Rating
Man Of Steel (2013)
Empire Star Rating
Broken City (2013)
Empire Star Rating
Les Miserables (2013)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

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

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

submit to reddit

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
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Dark Knight Rises At The US Box Office
Batman makes bank, man
Hugh Laurie May Be Robocop's Villain
UPDATE: He's no longer in talks

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

SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 48% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
'Today The Pond… Tomorrow The World!'... The 50 Silliest Horror Movie Taglines
Be afraid - or possibly not actually...

Marvel's Infinity War - What Does It All Mean?
Gods! Gems! Gauntlets! We explain it all...

Empire Meets Mike Leigh
On Mr. Turner, 007 and liver in lager

World War II Movies That Win At History
Seen Fury? Here’s what to watch next...

The 25 Shatneriest William Shatner Moments Of All Time
Prepare. For. Many. One. Word. Sentences.

Lists Of Our Lifetime: Empire's 25 Greatest Scares
Monsters, ghosts, horrible old ladies: the scenes that have kept us hiding behind the sofa for the last 25 years. Warning: contains spoilers.

Empire's Interstellar Review
Read our official verdict on Christopher Nolan's science-fiction epic

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)