Richard Linklater is set to develop, write, and direct the Bill Hicks Biopic. Hicks was a bit of a comedic outsider during his career, which was cut short at the age of 32 when the comedian died due to pancreatic cancer. While he wasn't fully appreciated by the masses when he was around, Hicks has developed a cult following in the 24 years since his death, but Linklater has been a fan since the start of Hicks' career.
Not much is known about the untitled Bill Hicks movie, but Richard Linklater has always thought that he and the late comedian were kindred spirits. The director wished that he would have gotten the chance to work with Hicks, but that obviously never happened. However, the director later found out from a mutual friend that Hicks really liked Linklater's 1993 stoner comedy Dazed and Confused, which was released only five months before his death.
Bill Hicks got his comedic start in Austin, Texas, and was raised Southern Baptist, which informed much of his work. Richard Linklater also had a Southern Baptist upbringing in Houston, Texas, which is where Hicks grew up as well. Hicks' brand of comedy was often dubbed "dark comedy" as he took on organized religion, social issues, politics, philosophy, and was often controversial, which many believe prevented him from getting into mainstream success. However, at the time of his death, it seemed like Hicks was finally about to break through. Linklater had this to say about Hicks.
"There's not quite any others like him. They don't speak in the same voice. You'd think people would take that torch and go with it, but it's a rare combination of that kind of intelligence, mysticism, political, you know... his politics, his angle, it's pretty unique. I go through my life all the time... everything that's going on in our culture, I always think, what would Bill Hicks be doing? You just miss him."
The untitled Bill Hicks movie will more than likely open with the comedian beginning his standup career at the young age of 16, while still in high school. Hicks spent most of the 1980s extensively touring the United States and generating a following which led to some pretty high profile late night television appearances, including the HBO special One Night Stand. Hicks appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman numerous times over the years, but the relationship soured after CBS decided not to air his routine. Letterman finally played the censored version of the routine in 2009, 15 years after the comedian's death. While continuing to tour, Hicks' albums began to become very popular in the U.K. and Ireland.
In 1993, Bill Hicks was asked by hard rock band Tool to open for their Lollapalooza shows, which was another boost for the comedian. The band and comedian shared a similar view of the world, which is something that many in the United States didn't pick up on, and is something that Richard Linklater will probably try to convey in the untitled Bill Hicks movie. Over the years, many have taken the style of Hicks, or even stolen his jokes, but there was and never will be another comedian like Bill Hicks. Hopefully more news about the movie is announced soon. The Linklater Hicks movie was first reported by Collider.