• The Hulk star Eric Bana is the frontrunner to play tragic Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin in a potential biopic, as far as the celebrity conservationist's best pal is concerned.

    Irwin's friend and manager John Stainton recalls Irwin asking his fellow Aussie to play him if there was ever a film about his life.

    Stainton says, "He (Irwin) raced up to him on the red carpet and said 'Eric, you have to promise me one thing, mate - you've got to play me when I die.'

    "If we ever do a movie I'd have to get Eric Bana."

    Irwin's pal Russell Crowe was the first name mentioned in relation to a biopic.

    He immediately played down the rumours, stating, "It's appalling to me and offends me very deeply. It's so awful that I have to deal with millions of people thinking I would dance on my friend's grave."

    US comedian unrepentant over Irwin costume
    Bill Maher’s disgraceful Halloween costume mocks Irwin - and he refuses to apologise.

    American comedian Bill Maher has angrily refused to apologise for wearing a bloody Steve Irwin Halloween costume.

    Maher, speaking on his US TV talkshow tonight, suggested Irwin may have been "doing something" to the stingray that killed him that he "shouldn't have been".

    Photographs of Maher in his Crocodile Hunter costume, complete with a bloody stingray barb hanging out of his chest, appeared on the internet earlier in the week.

    "Stop hassling me about my Halloween costume," Maher, speaking on his TV show, Real Time with Bill Maher, said.

    "Yes, you've seen it on the internet. I went as the Crocodile Hunter with a bloody stinger in my chest."

    Maher joked that he wouldn't apologise the way former Democrat US presidential candidate John Kerry this week apologised for a joke that backfired about US soldiers in Iraq.

    "People who really love animals understand if you get killed by one, chances are you were doing something to it you shouldn't have been," Maher said.

    "You want me to apologise for making a joke?

    "Who do you think I am, John Kerry?"

    The bad taste Crocodile Hunter costumes were popular in the US this Halloween, outraging Irwin's Australian and American fans.

    Irwin was killed by a stingray barb while filming on the Great Barrier Reef on September 4.