Robert De Niro the Comedian

The Comedian is a script that Robert De Niro has liked for years, and it was briefly rumored to end up as a sort of King of Comedy bookend with Martin Scorsese directing. That version never happened, but for a time Sean Penn was set to direct De Niro and Kristen Wiig in his own take on the script. That one also stalled out. Now the film is moving forward, with Mike Newell in the director’s chair. And it is moving fast enough that we could see it next year. Read More »

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I’m kind of a sucker for movies about fading stars (Sunset Boulevard is one of my all-time favorites), so I’ve been curious to see Art Linson‘s script The Comedian make it to the screen. I first heard about it this spring, when Martin Scorsese was rumored to be directing with Robert De Niro in the lead, but that report’s turned out to be only half true. De Niro is indeed set to star in the film, but it’s Sean Penn who’ll be taking over behind the camera.

Additionally, the project has just seen the addition of Saturday Night Live veteran Kristen Wiig, in a rare (I’m assuming) dramatic role. More details after the jump.

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There are those who are excited at the thought of Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese reuniting for a new film, no matter what it is. For months the object of anticipation has been The Irishman, which might light the fire of any fan of the pair’s crime films, as that long-in-development project would team the two men (with Joe Pesci, too) in a true crime tale. But the truly discriminating fan of Scorsese/De Niro team-ups would really perk up at the thought of a film that might capture the vibe of The King of Comedy. That’s the 1983 movie with Robert De Niro as an aspiring comedian possessed of, shall we say, delusional ambition. It is one of Martin Scorsese’s best, and paradoxically a movie that seems perpetually on the fringes of popular conversation about his career.

That brings us, in a roundabout way, to The Comedian. This is a new project that may happen (or might also go nowhere), but which has become a conversation piece based on the rumored possibility that it might become a follow-up of sorts to The King of Comedy. Read More »