Robert De Niro’s pet project The Comedian has found a new director in Taylor Hackford (Ray, Parker), EW has confirmed. Deadline first reported the news.
The script is written by Art Linson and is one that De Niro has reportedly loved for years. The Comedian is the second time Linson has written for De Niro, as the former penned the 2008 adaptation of his memoir, What Just Happened? Linson has a bare writing resume, but a long and prolific producing one (Fight Club, Sons of Anarchy, Heat, Fast Times at Ridgemont High).
Donnie Brasco director Mike Newell was initially tabbed to direct, but departed due to a scheduling conflict.
In The Comedian, De Niro will play a Don Rickles-like insult comic. The jokes were written by Comedy Central’s Roast master, Jeff Ross. The project will begin filming in January in New York.
Until then, De Niro will star as a senior-citizen entry-level employee under Anne Hathaway in The Intern, out Sept. 25.