Robert De Niro to Star in Warner Bros Gangster Drama ‘Wise Guys’ – The Hollywood Reporter


Warners’ first unique function of the Warner Bros. Discovery period is right here … and it’s a interval mobster drama fronted by two Hollywood veterans.

Returning to the style that made him a family identify, Robert De Niro will star in Wise Guys, a function supposed for theatrical distribution that can be directed by Barry Levinson, the filmmaker recognized for films corresponding to Oscar finest image winner Rain Man and Wag the Dog.

Nicholas Pileggi, who coincidentally authored Wiseguy, the 1985 ebook that was the idea for the 1990 De Niro-Martin Scorsese crime basic, Goodfellas, wrote the script. Irwin Winkler, finest recognized for producing the Rocky films in addition to being a producer on Goodfellas, is a producer.

The venture is centered on Vito Genovese and Frank Costello, two Italian-American crime bosses that ran their respective households in the center of the twentieth century. In 1957, Genovese tried to assassinate Costello however failed, though he was wounded and determined to retire, as a lot as one can retire from the Mafia.

De Niro would play each characters, in accordance to sources.

Wise Guys is an attention-grabbing selection for Warners, which below new president and CEO David Zaslav has been reducing and shelving tasks, re-examining its DC slate, and determining which films to push forward on a theatrical degree, now that the all-in-on-streaming technique from the earlier AT&T regime has been discarded. Zaslav has championed Wise Guys, with its pickup initiated in late May below Warners’ former Toby Emmerich regime. The venture doesn’t appear to have the hallmarks of a tentpole — huge budgets, visible results, huge mental property — nor does it really feel like “young Hollywood,” one thing that may seemingly appeal to the demographic most recognized for going to the films. Instead, it appears like a throwback, and has a crew whose common age is 4 rating — De Niro is 78, Levinson is 80, and Winkler is 91. (The studio, run by Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy, do have Joker: Folie a Deux as their first greenlight.)

Levinson was a prestigious Hollywood participant in the Nineteen Eighties and Nineteen Nineties, with films corresponding to The Natural; Good Morning, Vietnam; Bugsy and Disclosure on his résumé. One of his greatest movies was Rain Man, the 1988 drama that starred Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. It was a runaway hit and gained a number of Oscars, finest image and finest director amongst them. Styles and tastes change, and in current years the director has helmed options for the small display, together with HBO’s Paterno and The Wizard of Lies. The latter starred De Niro as disgraced financier Bernie Madoff and earned 4 Emmy nominations. De Niro and Levinson additionally labored collectively on 1997’s Wag the Dog and the 2008 Hollywood-centric story What Just Happened.

De Niro’s current credit embrace Joker for Warners in addition to Scorsese’s The Irishman, which he starred in and produced for Netflix. He reteamed with Scorsese as soon as extra for Apple’s Killers of the Flower Moon, due out subsequent yr.

De Niro is repped by CAA, Levinson by WME.

— Kim Masters contributed to this story.

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