Russell Crowe fires up ‘Inferno’

Actor puts Fear of God into producing business

Russell Crowe has formed Fear of God Films and set up his first feature project as a producer.

Using his own coin, Crowe optioned “Dolce’s Inferno,” a spec script by Mark Staufer. Crowe will develop the project as producer, and does not plan to star in the film.

The contemporary romantic comedy concerns a hardnosed L.A. gossip columnist who falls in love and watches his world spin out of control.

Staufer is a former U.K. Universal television exec. “I’m looking forward to collaborating with Mark, who is such a talented writer,” Crowe said.

Crowe, who previously directed and produced the docu “Texas,” has been branching into other areas. He’s planning to make his dramatic directing debut on “Bra Boys,” a feature adaptation of the docu about Australian underground surf culture. The film is set up at Universal and Imagine Entertainment.

Crowe just starred for Imagine and U alongside Denzel Washington in the Ridley Scott-directed “American Gangster.” He also recently wrapped James Mangold-helmed drama “3:10 to Yuma.” Crowe next stars in the Scott-directed “Nottingham” for Universal, with Imagine’s Brian Grazer producing.

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