Warners’ first original feature film from the Warner Bros. Discovery era is here… and it’s a historical gangster drama fronted by two Hollywood veterans.
Returning to the genre that made him a household name, Robert De Niro will star in bulbousa feature film for theatrical distribution directed by Barry Levinson, the filmmaker known for films such as Oscar winner for best picture rain man and Wagging the dog.
Nicholas Pileggi, who happens to be the author of sensible guythe 1985 book that formed the basis for the 1990 crime classic De Niro-Martin Scorsese, Goodfellas, wrote the script. Irwin Winkler, best known for producing the rocky films, but also as a producer of Goodfellasis a producer.
The project revolves around Vito Genovese and Frank Costello, two Italian-American crime bosses who ran their respective families in the mid-20th century. In 1957, Genovese tried to kill Costello, but failed, although he was wounded and decided to retire, as far as one can withdraw from the Mafia.
According to sources, De Niro would play both characters.
bulbous is an interesting pick for Warners, which, under new president and CEO David Zaslav, has cut and suspended projects, reexamined its DC slate, and figured out which films should continue at the theatrical level, now its all-in-on streaming strategy from the previous AT&T regime. Zaslav has defended bulbous, which was started in late May under Warners’ former Toby Emmerich regime. The project doesn’t seem to have the hallmarks of a tent pole — big budgets, visual effects, major intellectual property — nor does it feel like “young Hollywood,” something that would ostensibly attract the demographic best known for coming to the film. to go. Instead, it feels like a return and has a team with an average age of four – De Niro is 78, Levinson is 80 and Winkler is 91. (The studio, run by Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy, does have Joker: Folie a Deux as their first green light.)
Levinson was a prestigious Hollywood star in the 1980s and 1990s, starring in films like the natural; Good morning Vietnam; bugsy and Revelation on his resume. One of his greatest movies was rain man, the 1988 drama starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. It was a resounding success, winning several Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. Styles and tastes change, and in recent years the director has created features for the small screen, including those from HBO paterno and The Wizard of Lies. The latter starred De Niro as disgraced financier Bernie Madoff, earning four Emmy nominations. De Niro and Levinson also collaborated on 1997’s Wagging the dog and the Hollywood-centric story from 2008 What just happened.
Recent credits from De Niro include: joker for both Warners and Scorsese’s the Irishman, in which he starred and produced for Netflix. He teamed up with Scorsese again for Apple’s Killers of the Flower Mooncomes out next year.
De Niro is represented by CAA, Levinson by WME.
— Kim Masters contributed to this story.