Russell Crowe to make directorial debut

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Maximus is a powerful Roman general, loved by the people and the aging Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Before his death, the Emperor chooses Maximus to be his heir over his own son, Commodus, and a power struggle leaves Maximus and his family condemned to death. The powerful general is unable to save his family, and his loss of will allows him to get captured and put into the Gladiator games until he dies. The only desire that fuels him now is the chance to rise to the top so that he will be able to look into the eyes of the man who will feel his revenge.
July 24th, 2012

Russell Crowe is set to make his directorial debut in a Bill Hicks biopic.

The 48-year-old star - who has made big screen appearances in 'The Insider', 'Gladiator' and 'A Beautiful Mind' - is stepping behind the camera to helm the movie about the late US comedy legend, which will be written by the Hollywood actor's former schoolmate Mark Staufer.

Russell was originally in talks to portray Bill - who tragically lost his battle with cancer in 1994 aged 32 - in the film, with production due to begin early next year.

Mark told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: ''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.''

Russell has previously turned his hand to directing his singer wife Danielle Spencer's music videos and short films, but nothing on this scale.

The New Zealand-born actor is set to play the titular role in Darren Aronofsky's biblical epic 'Noah' and he is expected to take on the role of Count Dracula in Eli Roth's forthcoming film 'Harker'.