Robert De Niro the Comedian

Robert De Niro has been trying to make The Comedian for a long while; in the film, he’ll play a sharp-tongued stand-up comic who specializes in insult comedy. At one point there was even a rumor that it might end up as a reunion for De Niro and Martin Scorsese. Earlier this year it looked like The Comedian was all set to go, with Mike Newell signed to direct.

Scheduling problems intervened, however, as they often do, and now the film has a new director. Taylor Hackford (Parker, Ray) will direct Robert De Niro in The Comedian, with a shoot scheduled to begin early in 2016.

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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 »

Galifianakis Hangover

FX has landed some major comedic star power for a bunch of new pilots. Billy Crystal has a show called The Comedian, Tracy Morgan has a show called Death Pact, Denis Leary has a show called Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll and that’s not the half of it.

There are 12 new pilots in total and the two most exciting might be a new show created by and starring Zach Galifianakis, which will be co-produced and co-written by Louis C.K. It’s the first show in C.K.’s new deal. Then, Oscar-winning writer Charlie Kaufman‘s new show How and Why has cast John Hawkes and Michael Cera in key roles. Read More »

While half the talk that involves Kristen Wiig of late seems to revolve around whether or not she wants to do a sequel to Bridesmaids (she doesn’t) the actress is moving on to other stuff.

She has already shot Imogene and another indie called Revenge of the Jolly!, and now she’s looking at a role in Ben Stiller‘s remake of the classic comic fantasy The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Read More »

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 »

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