Australian actor Geoffrey Rush has reportedly signed up to star in a movie musical based on the life of celebrated Oliver! composer Lionel Bart.

The King's Speech star will portray the music maestro, who created the score and lyrics for the hit Oliver Twist stage show, in a new film by director Vadim Jean, according to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper.

The movie will feature some of Bart's most famous works and tell the story of his rise to fame.

Jean says "It's a full-blown musical, and we're using versions of his songs in ways that you've never heard before... The idea is to place the songs - some very well-known, others less so - into situations that help tell his story."

Rush will play Bart in his later years.

During his career, Bart also wrote a number of hit pop songs, including Sir Cliff Richard's Living Doll and the theme song for 1963 James Bond film From Russia with Love. He died in 1999 aged 68.