Drama Criminal Justice, written by Richard Price directed by Oscar winner Steven Zaillian, and starring James Gandolfini, has been ordered by HBO as a seven-part limited series. The project, originally developed and piloted as a drama series, will now be retooled. The news comes three months after HBO passed on the pilot, which I hear has been garnering interest from other nets. Additionally, Gandolfini and Zaillian, after initially opting for an open-ended series, decided that a limited series would better serve the narrative.
Criminal Justice is a New York-set crime drama loosely inspired by the acclaimed 2008 BBC series of the same name created by Peter Moffat. Price is expected to write all episodes of the project, produced by HBO and BBC Worldwide Prods. I hear it stars Gandolfini as an ambulance-chasing New York City attorney who gets in over-his-head when he takes on the case of a Pakistani (Riz Ahmed) accused of murdering a girl on the Upper West Side. The series co-stars Bill Camp (Lincoln), Payman Maadi (A Separation), and Poorna Jagannathan. BBC Worldwide’s Jane Tranter is executive producing along with Zaillian, Price, Moffat, and Attaboy’s Gandolfini, Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders. Film Rites’ Garrett Basch is producing. Additionally, Attaboy, which has an overall deal at HBO, has Big Dead Place in development at the network and recently set up movie Bone Wars starring Gandolfini Steve Carell at HBO Films.
Criminal Justice‘s pickup extends the big momentum limited series have enjoyed over the past few months. Today alone, Fox greenlighted two, 24: Live Another Day starring Kiefer Sutherland and M. Night Shyamalan’s Wayward Pines starring Matt Dillon.
James Gandolfini‘s return to HBO‘s primetime lineup has been put on hold, at least for now. The pay cable network has passed on drama pilot Criminal Justice, which starred The Sopranos alum. Written by Oscar … Read More »
The Sopranos star James Gandolfini is a step closer to returning to HBO‘s drama lineup with a starring role in the network’s Criminal Justice. HBO has given a pilot order to the drama project, written by Oscar nominee Richard Price (The Color Of Money) and to be directed by Oscar-wining writer Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List). Criminal Justice is a New York-set crime drama loosely based on the acclaimed 2008 BBC series of the same name created by Peter Moffat. Joining the ensemble cast led by Gandolfini are Rizwan Ahmed, Bill Camp, Peyman Moadi and Poorna Jagannathan.
The original series consisted of two five-episode seasons, each chronicling the journey of a person charged with murder through the justice system, and each featuring new characters and cast. HBO’s version follows the plot of the first season of the British series, which starred Ben Whishaw as Ben Coulter, a man who takes his father’s cab for a drive and picks up a party girl who takes him to her apartment for a drunken and drug-filled night out. When he wakes up in the morning, Ben finds the girl stabbed to death and, though he can’t remember committing the crime, he is soon charged with it. (Watch a trailer below) The season earned Criminal Justice BAFTA Awards for best drama and best writer, three Royal Television Society Awards and an International Emmy.
I’ve learned that in the U.S. version, the young man is an American-born Pakistani named Naz (Ahmed). Gandolfini plays Jack Stone, a disheveled jailhouse lawyer wearing cheap suits and sandals, who trolls for clients at police precincts. That’s where he sees Naz in a holding cell and appoints himself his attorney. (The character is expected to continue if the series is renewed for additional seasons.) Camp plays the lead detective on the case; Jagannathan — repped by Hartig Hilepo and Smith Talent Group — and Moadi play Naz’s parents. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The Sopranos gang is officially back together! James Gandolfini, the Emmy-winning star of the HBO drama, is doing a cameo in Nicky Deuce, the Nickelodeon TV movie based on the children’s book … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini are in negotiations to star in a new Nicole Holofcener film from Fox Searchlight. The project is … Read More »
Wild Bunch acquired overseas rights to Violet & Daisy, the directorial debut of Precious scribe Geoffrey Fletcher that was screened as a work in progress at Toronto. Wild Bunch will sell at AFM while CAA handles domestic rights. Fletcher wrote … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Although Paramount is represented in Toronto this year by its Sundance pickup and awards hopeful Like Crazy (10/28), which will have its premiere here Tuesday night, and also by Steven Spielberg’s motion capture animated film The Adventures of TinTin (12/23), for … Read More »
Last year’s Toronto Film Festival started slow for acquisitions, but finished with a flurry of modest distribution deals that served notice the specialty film business had finally pulled out of its nosedive. This year’s festival hasn’t started and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: HBO has teamed with James Gandolfini for Big Dead Place, a drama based on Nicholas Johnson’s memoir about his stint working for the U.S. Antarctic Program. Gandolfini is executive producing the project, which is being developed as … Read More »
The 2011 Toronto Film Festival has selected David Hare’s spy drama Page Eight, starring Bill Nighy, Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz, as its closing-night film and added a slew of Gala premieres and Special Presentations that boost the star wattage with the likes of Robert De Niro, Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, James Gandolfini and Gerard Butler. The additions to the previously announced film slate includes a Future Projects lineup that features James Franco and Gus Van Sant reminiscing about My Own Private Idaho, a documentary about Exit through the Gift Shop‘s Mr. Brainwash (Thierry Guetta), and Peter Lynch’s Buffalo Days; and a Wavelengths program of international experimental films. Here is the release about the additional Galas and Special Presentations:
Toronto – The Toronto International Film Festival® announces the addition of 8 Galas and 17 Special Presentations to the high-calibre selection of crowd-pleasers premiering in September. Today’s announcement includes 14 World Premieres and reveals that Festival-goers will be treated to a programming lineup featuring world premieres from directors including Nick Murphy, Gary McKendry, Joel Schumacher, Gianni Amelio, Agnieszka Holland, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Pankaj Kapur, Anne Fontaine, Mathieu Kassovitz and Geoffrey Fletcher. The films unveiled today feature onscreen appearances by Jason Statham, Robert De Niro, Clive Owen, Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, Gerard Butler, Ralph Fiennes, Imelda Staunton, Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman, Catherine Deneuve, Shahid Kapur, Isabelle Huppert, Saoirse Ronan, Alexis Bledel and James Gandolfini, among others.
This announcement brings the final number of Galas to 20, and the final number of Special Presentations to 67.
Closing Night Film
David Hare, United Kingdom International Premiere
Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy) is a long-serving M15 officer. His boss and best friend Benedict Baron (Michael Gambon) dies suddenly, leaving behind him an inexplicable file, threatening the stability of the organization. Meanwhile, a seemingly chance encounter with Johnny’s striking next-door neighbour and political activist Nancy Pierpan (Rachel Weisz) seems too good to be true. Set in London and Cambridge, Page Eight is a contemporary spy film which addresses intelligence issues and moral dilemmas peculiar to the new century. Also stars Ralph Fiennes and Judy Davis.
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EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Sony Pictures Classics partners Michael Barker and Tom Bernard are tying up a deal to acquire US rights to God Of Carnage, the Roman Polanski-directed feature adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play. Polanski shot the film … Read More »
A slew of actors have joined Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman in the HBO film Hemingway & Gellhorn. The biopic, exec produced by James Gandolfini and directed by Phil Kaufman, recounts the tumultuous romance and subsequent marriage of literary master … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Well, it is not a Sopranos movie but probably the next best thing for fans of the HBO mob drama. Former Sopranos leading man James Gandolfini is set to co-star in Sopranos creator David Chase’s next project, movie Twylight Zones, which, like the seminal HBO series, is set in New Jersey. It is one of three features Gandlofini will be juggling in the next few months. He is also in final negotiations to join Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock and and Cogan’s Trade toplined by Brad Pitt.
The Paramount-produced Twylight Zones is described as a drama about a New Jersey Rock’n'Roll band and the musical renaissance of the 1960s. It centers on Douglas (John Magaro), a socially awkward teen who begins to shine as lead singer in his band, The Twylight Zones. Gandolfini will play his father, an Italian-American who’s totally disgusted by his son’s infatuation with rock music. UPDATE: Also joining the film are Molly Price as Douglas’ mom and actor-comedian Brad Garrett. Read More »
With a foot of snow on my Long Island doorstep, it’s already easy to envy anyone in Los Angeles. Now, the original cast of Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play God of Carnage has agreed to reunite for a six-week run at … Read More »
- Cinema Verite is about the groundbreaking 1970s PBS series An American Family, considered the first reality show. Reality TV “was such an intellectual exercise in the beginning, and it’s turned to such shit,” Gandolfini said. Asked if he watches reality TV, he said that he has … Read More »