The long awaited Bill Hicks biopic is coming and will be in the capable hands of Richard Linklater. Linklater will write and direct the film- as yet untitled for Focus Features.
Bill Hicks died of cancer when he was just 32 years old and is widely believed to have been way ahead of his time with brilliant social commentary performances on stage. Hicks was influential, giving birth to a long list of comedians who admired his cutting wit and acute social observational brand of humor. Among those who say they were influenced by Hicks are Denis Leary, Marc Maron, Dave Attell and Patton Oswalt, Lewis Black and Russell Brand.
Hicks tackled everything from abortion, racism, and consumerism, told handicapped jokes on TV and called once called Hitler ‘an underachiever’. Bill Hicks is still the only comic to have his entire set removed from Late Show With David Letterman out of fear that it would labeled offensive. With Hicks’ mother Mary on as an in-studio guest, Letterman aired the entire segment in 2009 and publicly took responsibility for its initial removal.
A 2009 documentary “American: The Bill Hicks Story” told his story. And in 2016, SiriusXM debuted a never released original performance, “Bill Hicks Rant in E-Minor: Variations” along with an audio documentary hosted by Ron Bennington. The hour featured Dave Attell, Ron White, Judah Friedlander, Margaret Cho, Tom Rhodes, Bob Saget, Barry Crimmins, Eddie Pepitone, Paul Provenza, Carrot Top, shared their thoughts about what made the comedy of Bill Hicks so important to comedy.
Linklater and Hicks were mutual fans, although they never worked together.