Robert De Niro to Replace James Gandolfini in HBO's CRIMINAL JUSTICE Miniseries
HBO is moving forward with its CRIMINAL JUSTICE miniseries, originally set to star the late James Gandolfini.
According to Deadline, Robert De Niro has signed on to replace the former SOPRANOS star in the seven-hour project, which Steven Zaillian had been working on bringing to the network with Gandolfini for the past four years.
The drama is based on the BBC BAFTA-award winning series from Peter Moffat and is to be adapted for HBO by Zaillian and Richard Price. The original series, set in New York City, followed a person through the justice system as they went on trial for murder. De Niro will portray Jack Stone, a downtrodden jailhouse attorney who frequents police stations for clients. There, he finds a client: Naz, an American-born Pakistani.
The network had already filmed the pilot with Gandolfini. When the 51-year-old actor died unexpectedly in June, execs were unsure if the series would continue.
"I can't imagine us airing the pilot with James in it," HBO's President of Programming Michael Lombardo said. "Jim's passing took the wind out of sails quite a bit at HBO, so it's taken some time to even have conversations with Steve [Zaillian]. It's hard to think about replacing him." He added, "the conversation would be about reshooting the portion that Jim had already performed in and recasting."
Gandolfini will be listed as an executive producer when the series premieres.
The SOPRANOS star died earlier this summer while attending the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily. The actor won three Emmy Awards for his iconic role of 'Tony Soprano' in the HBO series.
De Niro's recent film The Family was release in theaters last week. The Oscar-winner will also appear in Last Vegas, Motel, American Hustle, Grudge Match, The Comedian, Hands of Stone and Candy Store. His past credits include Killing Season, Silver Linings Playbook, Meet the Parents, Analyze This and Analyze That, A Bronx Tale, Goodfellas and more.
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