Robert De Niro will star in the Warner Bros. mob drama Wise Guys from director Barry Levinson, Deadline can confirm. The project reunites the duo following their collaborations on the Emmy-nominated HBO TV movie The Wizard of Lies, which had De Niro playing Bernie Madoff, and Magnolia Pictures’ 2008 dramedy, What Just Happened, as well as the director’s earlier films Wag the Dog and Sleepers.
Wise Guys is a period piece tells the story of Vito Genovese and Frank Costello, a pair of Italian Americans running two separate crime families during the mid-20th century. Genovese tried and failed to assassinate Costello in 1957, though the latter wound up taking his leave from the mob after being injured during the attempt on his life. We hear that De Niro will be taking on both key roles in the film eyed for release in theaters.
Oscar-nominated Goodfellas scribe Nicholas Pileggi penned the script—and though he also wrote the 1985 book Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family on which Martin Scorsese’s aforementioned De Niro starrer is based, the classic film has no relation to Levinson’s. The Rocky franchise’s Irwin Winkler has boarded the project as a producer.
Levinson is an Oscar winner also known for films including Toys, Bugsy, Rain Man, Good Morning, Vietnam, Tin Men and Diner, among others. He recently helmed the Emmy-nominated HBO film The Survivor, also directing two episodes of Hulu’s Emmy-nominated show, Dopesick.
De Niro is a two-time Oscar winner who has recently appeared in films like The Irishman and Joker. Among the actor’s other upcoming projects is the Martin Scorsese film, Killers of the Flower Moon.
De Niro is represented by CAA and Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks; Levinson by WME, Novo Entertainment and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum; Pileggi by WME and Fox Rothschild; and Winkler by Brecheen, Feldman, Breimer.
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