Colin Farrell hasn't just been hitting the weights to prepare for the role of Alexander the Great. The notoriously brash Irish actor is hitting the books, too.

"[I've been reading] a lot of literature, a lot of books," he said over the weekend. "A lot of historical references, maps, tactics, strategy — I'm trying to get into his head."

Oliver Stone ("JFK") has long labored to get an "Alexander" movie off the ground, despite the fact that "Moulin Rouge" director Baz Luhrmann has nursed a similar project with Leonardo DiCaprio attached to star (see "Leo DiCaprio, Colin Farrell — Same Role, Different Movies").

In February, Farrell told MTV News he's prepared to play the Macedonian warrior — who conquered most of the known world some 2,300 years ago — whether the other project happens or not (see "Colin Farrell Not Worried About Competition From Leo DiCaprio").

Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie are set to join him when Stone's "Alexander" starts shooting, which Farrell said should happen in about two months. Rosario Dawson is also in negotiations to join the cast, according to her manager.

"I'm in the middle of training," Farrell explained. "I just started about three weeks ago. Lifting weights, jogging, horse riding, working with swords. I'm working with [stunt coordinator] Captain Dale Dye, who's worked with Oliver Stone on six or seven of his movies.

"I'm just trying to figure the thing out, man," he added. "It's huge."

"Alexander" is tentatively scheduled for a November 2004 release.