‘Funny how?’ is a question that was once infamously posed in the Robert De Niro gangster classic Goodfellas. Hopefully we won’t be asking that of the man himself when we see him in Mike Newell‘s The Comedian.
Or at least we think it’s Mike Newell’s. The movie was originally planned as a revisit of De Niro’s role in The King of Comedy, with Martin Scorcese again at the helm. Then the reins were handed over to Sean Penn, ultimately in vain, but it seems as if Newell is here to stay as there are plans to begin shooting in November, with pre-production rumoured to have already started.
Written by Art Linson, who also penned the screenplay for De Niro’s 2008 vehicle What Just Happened?, the script reportedly tells the story of an ageing comic whose career has hit the skids. Eventually, this gets to him so much that he ends up venting his frustration on an innocent bystander and subsequently doing community service. Then, a ‘dazzling redhead’ changes his life forever.
One thing for sure is that De Niro has always been taken with the idea of this picture, despite the many delays and the fact that, even at 71, he’s currently one of the busiest actors in Hollywood. Fresh from filming Scott Mann‘s Bus 657, he is joining forces once again with David O. Russell for Joy and will be on the big screen this year in Nancy Meyers‘ The Intern. Also, just to satisfy those can’t get enough of him when he’s talking Italian, he is also set to star in a biopic of car king Enzo Ferrari.
And it would seem that The Comedian is gathering speed quicker than an F50, as it could be hitting cinemas as early as next year.