All the way back in 2008 there was talks that Oscar-winner Russell Crowe would star in a biopic about legendary comedian Bill Hicks. In the years since we haven't heard anything else about the project, but apparently now Crowe has decided to step out from in front of the camera and has instead chosen to stand behind it.

Australia's Daily Telegraph has learned that Crowe is set to make his feature directorial debut with a biopic about Hicks. Crowe isn't completely without experience as a director, as he previously directed two concert films that centered on his band 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts (the docs were titled 60 Odd Hours in Italy and Texas). Most recently, however, he signed on to helm a segment of Sydney Unplugged, which is a Paris, Je Taime-type movie where filmmakers create short films that express their love of a particular city.

Hicks, who died at the age of 32 after a bout with pancreatic cancer, amassed a cult following with his stand-up and social criticism. His act covered a broad range of topics from consumerism to pop culture, and was seen by many as a controversial figure. In 2009 Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas directed the documentary American: The Bill Hicks Story (which actually ended up on our own Josh Tyler's Top 10 list from the year it was released).

Mark Staufer, an old schoolmate of Crowe's, wrote the script and told the Telegraph, "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." Crowe is currently in production on Darren Aronofsky's Noah and will next be seen in The RZA's The Man With The Iron Fists.

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