Russell Crowe has emerged as the leading candidate to topline the historical drama “Tripoli.”
Pic would reteam Crowe with director Ridley Scott in another big-budget period epic. The thesp won the Academy Award last year for his perf in best picture winner “Gladiator”; Scott received an Oscar nomination for his direction.
Scott committed last month to direct “Tripoli” in what will be his first helming assignment since Scott Free signed an overall deal at 20th Century Fox (Daily Variety, March 8). Project will be written by William Monahan and produced by Mark Gordon with Scott Free, the partnership between Ridley Scott and his brother Tony.
Fox and WMA, which reps Crowe, declined comment.
Crowe has become the go-to actor for period dramas in the wake of his standout box office successes “Gladiator” and “A Beautiful Mind.” His next project is as the lead in the 18th-century seafaring adventure “Master and Commander,” also for Fox, due to start lensing in June in Baja, California.
“Tripoli” tells the true story of William Eaton, an American who helped the heir to the throne of Tripoli lead an overthrow of a corrupt ruler in the early 1800s. The pic, shepherded by 20th prexy Hutch Parker and exec veep Michael Andreen, could start production as early as this fall.
Crowe’s schedule following “Master and Commander” has not been set, but attachments include making his directorial debut on and starring in Intermedia’s World War II tale “The Long Green Shore” and starring as boxing legend Jim Braddock in “Cinderella Man” with Universal and Miramax co-financing.