HBO is teaming with James Gandolfini to develop an U.S. version of the hit French Canadian single-camera comedy series Taxi-22 as a potential starring vehicle for the Sopranos star. The project, to be written by comedy veteran Dave Flebotte, (Desperate Housewives) centers on a politically incorrect cab driver in New York City struggling to keep his life together. It is being developed at Gandolfini’s Attaboy Films production company, which has a deal with HBO. Gandolfini is executive producing with Flebotte, Gandolfini’s managers Nancy Sanders and Mark Armstrong, Dennis Erdman, Clark Peterson and the creators of the original series Patrick Huard and Francois Flamand. Robert Horn is a consultant. Huard, a top Canadian comedian, also stars on the Canadian series, now in its fourth season. Erdman and Peterson licensed the format rights from Huard and Flamand and brought the project to HBO and Gandolfini.
Gandolfini has been under a deal at HBO since 2006 and has flirted with a number of series projects, including one that would’ve had him portray a Roger Ailes-type character at a cable news channel, but is yet to commit to star in its follow-up series to The Sopranos. Another potential candidate is a show set in the Arctic, which is in very preliminary stages. On the film side, Attaboy has been developing with HBO Hemingway, a feature about the tempestuous romance between Ernest Hemingway and war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, as a starring vehicle for Gandolfini. Gandolfini also executive produced the HBO documentary Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq.