Richard Linklater will write and direct an untitled film based on the life of comedian Bill Hicks for Focus Features.
Hicks was raised as a Southern Baptist and began performing comedy in the late 1970s in Texas. He toured extensively during the 1980s, specializing in dark humor and social commentary. A typical joke: “I never got along with my dad. Kids used to come up to me and say, ‘My dad can beat up your dad.’ I’d say ‘Yeah? When?’”
Hicks died of pancreatic cancer in 1994 at the age of 32. Linklater has said publicly that he regretted that he was not able to work with Hicks, who was a fan of Linklater’s Texas-based coming-of-age movie “Dazed and Confused.”
Hicks was the subject of a 2009 documentary “American: The Bill Hicks Story.” The film, which was screened at SXSW, was produced by Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas, and featured archival footage and interviews with family and friends.
Linklater has received five Academy Award nominations, including three for producing, directing and writing “Boyhood” along with writing nominations with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke for “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight.” His other directing credits include “Slacker,” “School of Rock,” “Waking Life,” “Everybody Wants Some!!” and “Last Flag Flying.”
Linklater is in post-production on “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” starring Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer, Billy Crudup and Laurence Fishburne. Annapurna will release “Bernadette,” an adaptation of Marie Simple’s novel, on March 22.
Linklater is represented by CAA and Cinetic Media. The news was first reported by Collider.
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