While Russell Crowe hit screens with two pretty much forgettable films — “Robin Hood” and “The Next Three Days” — and his next appearance booked in RZA‘s martial arts pic “Man With Iron Fists,” the actor is lining up what is easily his most exciting project in years.
Deadline reports that Crowe is looking to star and make his narrative feature directorial debut with the hostage thriller “77.” Based on a story by crime writer extraordinaire James Ellroy (“L.A. Confidential“) and with a script by David Matthews, the film tells the true story of the 1974 shootout between the LAPD and the Symbionese Liberation Army (best known as the group that kidnapped Patty Hearst) and connects it with an unsolved murder of a police officer. The event was almost a Wild West affair and lasted hours, with over 9000 rounds fired and five SLA members dead. The film will be told through the eyes of two cops — one black, one white. It’s a remarkable story and a great piece of movie material but it’s not quite a lock just yet.
While Crowe has been itching to direct, he’s waiting to see a new rewrite before pulling the trigger. But Crowe does have experience behind the camera, directing “Texas” a documentary about his band Thirty Odd Foot Of Grunts. And the actor does have other options for movie projects banging around including “The Equalizer” with Paul Haggis writing and “Dirt Music” a musical romance with Philip Noyce attached to direct. But all around, “77” sounds like a great period police film and with Ellroy weaving the story, we’re hopeful this one gets moving.