Russell Crowe is to star in the crime-thriller 'Sleeping Dogs'.

The 58-year-old actor will play a former homicide detective tasked with re-examining a brutal murder case from his past in the film that marks the directorial debut of Adam Cooper.

The movie is an adaptation of the acclaimed novel 'The Book of Mirrors' by E.O. Chirovici with Cooper and Bill Collage writing the script together.

Crowe will play Roy Freeman, a man undergoing cutting-edge treatment for Alzheimer's who is forced to grapple with the impact of an investigation from his former life as a death row inmate he arrested a decade previously proclaims his innocence.

As he fights to regain his memory, Freeman enlists his former partner to help him revive the case and find out the truth. Together, they unravel a tangled web of secrets that forces Freeman to make some horrific discoveries.

Mark Fasano, president of Nickel City Pictures, will produce with Cooper, Collage and Pouya Shabazian. Principal photography is set to begin in January 2023.

Cooper said: "Our memory of the past is what gives us context for who we are. A character who is bereft in this capacity comes with a very complex kind of humanity – and there's no one better at embodying complex characters than Russell Crowe."

Fasano added: "Adam and Bill's storytelling pedigree is really second to none and now, having the opportunity to work with Adam at the helm will be a truly exciting journey for us all.

"Russell Crowe is a serial award-winner, a master of his craft and perfectly cast in the challenging role of Freeman in this unique and prestigious project."