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John Turturro replaces Robert De Niro in HBO's 'Criminal Justice'

John Turturro has replaced Robert De Niro as the star of Criminal Justice, the seven-hour HBO miniseries that was once conceived as a James Gandolfini¬†vehicle. Based on a 2008 BBC drama of the same name, Justice was slated to be The Sopranos‘ star’s high-profile return to an HBO series, and he had filmed the pilot before he died last June. HBO recruited De Niro in September to assume the lead role, but as the Hollywood Reporter initially wrote, he’s now out, as is his Tribeca Films production company.

Turturro will play Jack Stone, an unscrupulous New York City lawyer who defends a Pakistani man (Riz Ahmed) accused of murder. Bill Camp, Peyman Moaadi (A Separation), and Poorna Jagannathan also star. Steve Zaillian (All the King’s Men) will direct a script written by novelist Richard Price (The Wire).

 

HBO greenlights 'Criminal Justice' miniseries, Robert De Niro in for James Gandolfini

After months of will-they-or-won’t-they speculation about HBO’s seven-part miniseries Criminal Justice, HBO has decided to move forward with the project. EW has confirmed that the mini-series, which was given the greenlight back in May when James Gandolfini was set to star, is moving forward once again, now with Robert De Niro in the lead role.

Based on the 2008 BBC series by Peter Moffat, Criminal Justice is set in New York City, where an attorney (De Niro) is a bit too ambitious in taking on the case of a Pakistani being accused of murder. Riz Ahmed, Bill Camp, Payman Maadi, and Poorna Jagannathan will also star.

Gandolfini remains an executive producer on the project posthumously, with Steven Zaillian set to direct the first hour.

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