Actor makes his directorial debut

Russell Crowe will make his feature directorial debut on Universal and Imagine Entertainment’s “Bra Boys,” a fact-based drama about a counterculture movement in a surf community in Australia.

Brian Grazer will produce. Stuart Beattie (“Collateral”) will pen the screenplay.

The studio will base the film on the “Bra Boys” documentary that focuses on Sunny, Koby and Jai Abberton, three brothers who began the underground surfer movement in the inner-Sydney seaside suburb of Maroubra.

Docu addresses the triumphs of the large, rough-and-tumble group, as well as their social struggles. Crowe narrated the docu. It is unclear whether he will play a role in the film.

Beattie, Crowe and Grazer will also draw from a nonfiction book about the Bra Boys that’s in the works.

Deal marks another Crowe collaboration with Imagine’s Grazer and Ron Howard. After toplining “A Beautiful Mind” and “Cinderella Man,” Crowe most recently starred with Denzel Washington in the Ridley Scott-directed Imagine drama “American Gangster,” which Universal will distribute in the fall. Separately, Crowe most recently starred with Christian Bale in the James Mangold-directed “3:10 to Yuma,” to be distributed by Lionsgate.

Crowe is repped by WMA.

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