20 August 2008 5:10 AM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Russell Crowe is set to play late comedy legend Bill Hicks, according to reports.

The Gladiator star is lined up to portray the controversial funnyman, whose troubled life was cut short when he died of cancer in 1994, aged 32.

A source tells Britain's Daily Express newspaper, "Russell admires Hicks and is very keen to be involved in the project.

"Comedy has never been seen as Russell's strong point so this is an opportunity to change the public's perception of him.

"Like Hicks, Russell is very passionate and forthright with his views and isn't afraid to upset people if he thinks he's in the right. This could be an ideal role for him."

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