Robert De Niro To Star In 'About My Father,' Based On Stand-Up Comic Sebastian Maniscalco's Life

Robert De Niro is set to play standup comic Sebastian Maniscalco's dad. De Niro has been tapped to star in About My Father, an upcoming comedy loosely based on Maniscalco's life, set during a weekend in which Maniscalco clashes with his old-school Italian immigrant dad.Variety reports that De Niro has joined the cast of About My Father as Maniscalco's dad Salvo, who disagrees with Sebastian's plan "to propose to his all-American girlfriend, prompting Salvo to insist on crashing a weekend with her parents."

The movie reunites De Niro and Salvo after the pair appeared together in Martin Scorsese's acclaimed mob drama The Irishman. De Niro was reportedly the first person the team thought of when Salvo described his real-life dad.

"The way Sebastian talks about his father, Salvo sounds to us like the type of guy who thinks that Robert De Niro should play him in a movie. So we thought, why not?" Nathan Kahane, president of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said in a statement. "Actually, Robert De Niro is incredibly selective about the projects he chooses, so we are thrilled that he responded so strongly to this hilarious and heartfelt screenplay. He'll make a fantastic and funny pairing with Sebastian."

About My Father will also star Salvo, playing himself, and will be directed by Laura Terruso (Neflix's Work It) from a script by Maniscalco and Austen Earl. Depth of Field, which is the company behind Lulu Wang's The Farewell and Disney's upcoming Pinocchio remake starring Tom Hanks, is producing the movie. Depth of Field executives Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz, and Andrew Miano will serve as producers, with Judi Marmel serving as an executive producer. James Myers and Chelsea Kujawa are overseeing production for the studio.

"We've been fans of Laura's for a while," Paul Weitz said in a statement. "Like Sebastian, her parents are Italian immigrants and she locked into this story."

It sounds like About My Father will be an intensely Italian experience — which should be comfortable territory for De Niro, who has leaned into his Italian roots for much of his storied career. He's fairly comfortable playing an oppressive father figure in a comedy too, having appeared in comedies like Meet the Parents and its sequels. I can't say I know much about Maniscalco's skill as an actor; he played a kind of forgettable supporting role in The Irishman, though he apparently did all right in Green Book. Hopefully it will be fun to see him face off against De Niro in About My Father.

Production for About My Father is due to begin later in 2021.