There is a casting change on HBO‘s miniseries Criminal Justice, the passion project of the late James Gandolfini. John Turturro has stepped in to play the role of Jack Stone, originally played by Gandolfini in the pilot. Turturro replaces Robert De Niro who committed to succeeding the beloved Sopranos star last fall but has pulled out because of scheduling reasons. Gandolfini is getting a posthumous executive credit on the seven-hour miniseries, based on the BBC series created by Peter Moffat. Richard Price wrote the adaptation with Steven Zaillian directing. On the mini, produced by HBO in association with BBC Worldwide Prods. and Film Rites and Tribeca Films, Turturro joins originally cast Riz Ahmed, Bill Camp, Payman Maadi and Poorna Jagannathan.
The New York crime story centers on Jack Stone, an ambulance-chasing New York City attorney who gets in over-his-head when he takes on the case of a Pakistani (Ahmed) accused of murdering a girl on the Upper West Side. While the Jack Stone part is central to the overall story, in the pilot the character only appears in the final scene, which led to discussions between HBO and Zaillian about possibly recasting the role and carrying on with the project that had been so important to Gandolfini. Criminal Justice is executive produced by Gandolfini, Zaillian, Price, Moffat, BBC Worldwide’s Jane Tranter, with Film Rites’ Garrett Basch and Attaboy’s Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders serving as co-executive producers. Gandolfini toplined the 2005 film Romance & Cigarettes, which was written and directed by Turturro. The two co-starred together in the 2009 The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3. Turturro, repped by ICM Partners and attorney George Sheanshang, is currently seen in Fading Gigolo.