Hollywood icon Robert De Niro has signed up to star in Wise Guys. This will be the first original feature in the Warner Bros. Discovery era as they attempt to bring back the glory days after years of studio mismanagement.
Wise Guys is from a script by Nicholas Pileggi, who coincidentally wrote Wiseguy, the 1985 book that was the basis for the 1990’s classic Goodfellas. Irwin Winkler, best known for producing the Rocky movies as well as Goodfellas, is the producer. The movie is described as:
Vito Genovese and Frank Costello, two Italian-American crime bosses that ran their respective families in the middle of the 20th century. In 1957, Genovese attempted to assassinate Costello but failed, although he was wounded and decided to retire, as much as one can retire from the Mafia.
De Niro will play both Genovese and Costello despite the fact that neither of them are meant to be twins or even siblings. Let’s be honest, De Niro is way past his best and I doubt he’ll be able to convincingly play two separate characters without the help of lashings of make-up and plenty of digital trickery.
Make Him An Offer He Can’t Refuse
I’m unsure why Bob is playing both roles, perhaps this is a much needed ego boost for the miserable old bastard. Most likely it’s because he needs the money.
As reported by Variety last year, Bobby is in a financial pickle. Naturally he’s blaming Covid for when his restaurants had to shut down during the pandemic. But considering he has an estimated net worth of $500m, it’s likely he just needs to support his ex-wife’s lavish lifestyle. Anyway, I digress.
No Snoozing On Set
De Niro is no stranger to gangster roles, having starred in Mean Streets, The Godfather Part II, Once Upon a Time In America, Casino, Goodfellas and most recently The Irishman.
The film is to be directed by Barry Levinson, a highly successful director responsible for major hits like The Natural, Good Morning Vietnam, Bugsy and Rain Man.
With De Niro now aged 79, Nicholas Pileggi at 89, Irwin Winkler at 91 and Levinson aged 80, I can’t imagine this film having a speedy turnaround. It’s scheduled to hit the silver screen in 2023, but don’t get upset if it’s a few years late due to broken hips or spontaneous midday naps on set.