John Turturro picked as Robert De Niro’s replacement in HBO’s James Gandolfini series 'Criminal Justice'

By Daniel Levine,

HBO’s Criminal Justice miniseries is getting another new face, this time due to a scheduling conflict. The long-gestating project was at one point set to star James Gandolfini, who was replaced by Robert De Niro. However, De Niro is now out and John Turturro is now in.

De Niro was picked to replace Gandolfini, who did film the pilot before his death, in September. But The Hollywood Reporter confirmed on Monday that De Niro had to back out due to other commitments. Turturro will replace De Niro as the star of the series.

Turturro frequently appeared in some of the Coen Brothers’ best known films, including O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and has also worked with Woody Allen. He directed Allen in Fading Gigolo, which just opened in limited release this past weekend. The film grossed $198,399 from five theaters.

With De Niro out, the Oscar winning actor’s Tribeca Films is no longer involved in the production. Instead, it will just be an HBO/BBC Worldwide co-production. The series is based on Peter Moffatt’s acclaimed BBC series. Steve Zaillian wrote the pilot and will executive produce and direct the series. Richard Price is also writing.

The rest of the cast includes Riz Ahmed, Bill Camp, Peyman Moaadi and Poorna Jagannathan.

Criminal Justice’s plot centers on Jack Stone (Turturro), a New York ambulance chasing lawyer who takes a case involving a young man who is accused of killing a girl on the Upper West Side. Gandolfini would have played that role.

 
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