It’s been a pretty solid year already for Russell Crowe, having starred in Allen Hughes’ so-so crime thriller Broken City as well as Zack Snyder’s summer blockbuster-on-kryptonite-crack Man of Steel, where he found his inner Marlon Brando to play Superman’s father. I’m pretty sure if a Justice League movie ever gets made, they’ll figure out a way to get Crowe involved. Perhaps by hologram and voiceover a la Superman Returns?
But before any of that other superhero madness makes it to the big screen, Crowe is interested in directing his own film, which Deadline reports would be the historical drama The Water Diviner, which will be produced by Hopscotch Features and Fear of God Films and written by Australian screenwriters Andrew Anastasios and Andrew Knight.
Let’s take a brief detour to list the films that Crowe has already aimed to make his directorial debut with. There was the surfer drama Bra Boys back in 2007, the cop drama 77 in 2011, and a Bill Hicks biopic, which he was reportedly interested in making last year, after being attached to star as Hicks back in 2008. He’s also supposed to direct a segment of the anthology film Sydney Unplugged. If The Water Diviner ends up going the way of Hicks – i.e. dying an early death – I don’t think anyone would be surprised.
But we’re not trying to be discouraging here, even though this project sounds arguably less interesting than any of those other ones. The Water Diviner takes place in 1919 and would tell the story of an Australian father – who would be played by Crowe himself – who travels to Turkey to find his two sons who go missing after the World War I battle of Gallipoli. Should it actually make it to production, Crowe would shoot the film later this year in Australia and Turkey, which might add that layer of needed realism to a project that will have to go a little farther in order to gain my rabid interest. I need phrases like “depressing drama” or “action-tinged hunt” for a movie like this. Otherwise, it just sounds like something that will feature Crowe mugging for the camera in nice locations.
It’s assumed that the film would go into production once Crowe is finished with all of the promotional material for his next film, Darren Aronofsky’s religious epic Noah, where he’ll be playing the titular character. Perhaps in all of the pairs of animals taken into Noah’s ark, there is another Crowe that’ll be able to do the directing thing while the other one does the promo thing.
There isn’t any clear sign that Crowe will be singing anything for this movie like he did for Les Miserables, but that doesn’t mean we can’t listen to some of that right now.