Robert De Niro to Replace James Gandolfini in New HBO Miniseries

Robert De Niro has been confirmed to take over the lead role in an upcoming HBO crime miniseries. Titled Criminal Justice, the veteran actor will replace the late James Gandolfini. The famed Sopranos actor will still be credited as executive producer on the project. Filming for the show was supposed to begin shortly after Gandolfini’s untimely death. He was reportedly very excited and committed to the miniseries before his passing. Criminal Justice is based on the 2008 BBC program and will be directed by All the King’s Men director Steven Zaillian. The New York crime story centers on an ambulance-chasing New York City attorney, the role originally played by Gandolfini, who gets in over-his-head when he takes on the case of a Pakistani (Ahmed) accused of murdering a girl on the Upper West Side. While the lawyer part is central to the overall story, in the pilot the character only appears in the final scene. That led to discussions between HBO and Zaillian about recasting the part, not an easy task as I hear the network and Zaillian were looking for a great actor whom Gandolfini would have want.

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