Actor moving behind the camera for biopic of the seminal comic.

It is being reported that Russell Crowe has signed up to make his feature directorial debut with a biopic of the late stand-up comic Bill Hicks.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Mark Staufer, an old friend of Crowe’s, is penning the screenplay. Casting for the role of Hicks to begin shortly.

Staufer tells the paper, “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. It is a huge role for someone, made all the more special, or downright scary, by the fact the director is an Oscar-winning actor like Russell.”

Hicks, who was known worldwide for his razor-sharp mind and caustic wit, died in 1994 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 32. The seminal comic was the subject the 2009 must see documentary, ‘American: The Bill Hicks Story.’