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).