Robert De Niro is picking up his finest suit and heading back into the world of crime in Warner Bros. Discovery’s upcoming gangster-based production, Wise Guys. The Hollywood Reporter announced that De Niro will be starring in the mobster flick under the direction of Barry Levinson. In a fun, full circle moment, author Nicholas Pileggi, who fans of crime writing and the timeless Martin Scorsese feature Goodfellas may recognize, wrote the film’s script. Scorsese pulled the story of Goodfellas from Pileggi’s 1985 book, Wiseguy, so the screenplay couldn’t be in better hands. Adding another big name to the project, Rocky and Goodfellas producer, Irwin Winkler, has signed on to produce.
The historical drama will center around mafioso top dogs, Vito Genovese and Frank Costello. The heads of each of their respective families and crime syndicates, the two had a long-running rivalry that would see Genovese attempt to wipe out Costello in 1957. The assassination attempt didn’t exactly help the duo’s relationship, and although he wasn’t killed, Costello was wounded which led to his retirement as the family’s head.
If you’re reading this and wondering who will be starring across from De Niro as the other mafia boss, the possible answer may come as a surprise. While it hasn’t yet been confirmed, it sounds as though the Taxi Driver actor will do double duty as both mafiosos. If this is true, we can’t wait to see one of the greatest actors of our time work across from himself to bring the unbelievable true story to life.
Of course, De Niro is no stranger to the mob-based genre. The actor brought home his first Academy Award for his role in Francis Ford Coppola’s second installment in his crime epic trilogy, The Godfather Part II. He would go on to star in a slew of crime-based dramas, specifically of the mafia variety, including the aforementioned Goodfellas, Casino, A Bronx Tale, The Untouchables, and The Irishman. With his incredible background in these gangster-based features, it was certainly a no-brainer on the side of the newly formed Warner Bros. Discovery to bring in the actor for their latest project.
Like De Niro, Levinson is one of the most celebrated figures in Hollywood. The filmmaker has made a huge name for himself standing behind dramas and comedies including Good Morning, Vietnam, Bugsy, Wag the Dog, and Rain Man. While his credits can boast bringing the director a whopping 34 Academy Award nominations, it was with Bugsy and Rain Man that he would nab several wins. Lately, Levinson has held credits on Hulu’s dark drama series, Dopesick, where he served as the show’s co-executive producer as well as the director for the first two episodes.
As of right now, Wise Guys hasn’t set a release date.