Robert De Niro, James Gandolfini
Robert De Niro has signed on to star in HBO's Criminal Justice, taking on the role that would've been played by James Gandolfini, TVGuide.com has confirmed.
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Criminal Justice, based on a 2008 BBC series of the same name, tells the stories of people who have been accused of murder. Gandolfini (The Sopranos) was originally set to executive-produce and star as Jack Stone, a jailhouse lawyer tasked with representing a Pakistani-American man who has been charged with a woman's murder. His character only appeared in the final moments of the pilot episode.
When Gandolfini died in June, it was unclear whether HBO would move forward with the seven-episode miniseries. But De Niro stepped in, and they will reshoot the end of the pilot, according to Deadline.com, which first reported the news. Production is slated to begin in March.
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Back in July, HBO's President of Programming Michael Lombardo said, "I can't imagine us airing the pilot with James in it. 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."
Will you watch Criminal Justice with De Niro?