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HBO is keeping Criminal Justice, the project James Gandolfini was working on at the time of his death, moving. The network has found a replacement in Oscar winner Robert De Niro.
Deadline just reported that De Niro is playing the part that Gandolfini played in the pilot. It was envisioned as a series, but HBO greenlighted it as a seven-hour miniseries.
The network did confirm the news later, notes THR.
HBO ordered the Criminal Justice pilot back in September 2012. It is based on Peter Moffatt’s critically acclaimed BBC series and co-written by Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List), who also directed the pilot.
Deadline notes that other directors will step in to helm the other hours. BBC Worldwide Productions, HBO, Film Rites and Tribeca Films are producing. The rest of the cast includes Riz Ahmed, Bill Camp and Payman Maadi.
Production should start in March. The plot centers on a New York City attorney who searches for cases to take at police stations and chases ambulances. He decides to represent a Pakistani immigrant who is accused of murdering a girl and soon realizes that he may be out of his element.
When Gandolfini suddenly died in June, he left several projects behind, including Criminal Justice. HBO waited to decide the project’s fate and announced that the pilot with Gandolfini would not air in the same form it was prior to Gandolfini’s death.
As for De Niro, he currently stars in The Family with Michelle Pfeiffer. He recently earned an Oscar nomination for Silver Linings Playbook.
image: Jessica Forde/Relativity Media/image.net