The life of controversial comedian Bill Hicks will be the subject of an upcoming film from Richard Linklater. Collider is reporting that the writer/director has signed with Focus Features for the untitled project.
Linklater has stated that there are things in Hicks’ life that he could relate to, starting with a shared upbringing in Texas and the Southern Baptist Church.
Hicks got his start in standup while still in high school. He made his first of many appearances on Late Night With David Letterman in 1994 and was featured in the 1987 Rodney Dangerfield’s Young Comedians Special on HBO. Sometimes topical, sometimes observational and most of the time confrontational, Hicks commented on the world around him and argued that we can be better people. And he did it all with a wickedly sharp sense of humor. His career was tragically cut short when he died of cancer on February 26, 1994 at the age of 32.
It is not known if this will be Linklater’s next project or not. The director is currently developing at least two other projects – one centers on real life 20th century conman John Brinkley and the other is a China-set comedy intriguingly titled Larry’s Kidney.
This is not the first time that someone has attempted to bring Hick’s story to the big screen. Besides a 2009 documentary, American: The Bill Hicks Story, Russell Crowe took a stab at developing a biopic on the comic ten years ago. At first it was just a project that would have been his feature directorial debut, though at one point, Crowe was even considering starring in the film, even though at the time he was fifteen years older than Hicks when he died.