Robert De Niro Continues to Add to His Busy Schedule

3/11/2010 Posted by Admin

Robert De Niro Continues to Add to His Busy Schedule

By our guest blogger, Tim Strain

Despite universal acceptance that he is past his prime, Robert De Niro has no intentions of easing his way out of the spotlight and into retirement.This  past week alone has been a whirlwind for the one-time raging bull, with the announcement of his involvement in several new upcoming projects, some promising, some that make us scratch our heads.

The most recent announcement is his potential involvement in the upcoming NFL/ESPN Films project “Lombardi,” as THR reports. He would, of course, be playing the titular role, the legendary NFL coach who led turned the Green Bay Packers into Super Bowl champs and boasts the highest winning percentage of any coach in history. The film will focus on his years rebuilding the Green Bay franchise. Due to the NFL’s involvement, don’t expect to see anything even the least bit controversial. Controversy or not, it has one of the best writers in the business, Eric Roth (“The Insider,” “Munich,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Forrest Gump,” De Niro’s “The Good Shepherd”) currently working on the script. The film’s producers have said that they are planning to release the film between the Conference Championship Games and the Super Bowl in 2012.

Variety recently reported that De Niro would be joining Bradley Cooper and possibly Elizabeth Banks (she is still in talks for a role) in Neil Burger’s upcoming “The Dark Fields.” The pic is a futuristic suspense thriller in which Cooper plays a down-on-his-luck writer who takes a miracle drug that offers him the gift of intelligence. De Niro will play the brilliant billionaire who pursues the writer in order to exploit him and the drug. Filming is set to begin in May, and a release date has yet to be determined.

In January it was announced that Universal will be making a sequel to De Niro’s 1988 hit “Midnight Run,” and would be going into production soon. Deadline Hollywood is reporting that De Niro will officially be reprising his role as bounty hunter Jack Walsh, although his counterpart from the original, Charles Grodin, will be passing on the (pointless?) project. De Niro will also be serving as producer, and Tim Dowling (“Role Models,” the upcoming Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston comedy “Just Go With It”) is currently writing the script.

It was also announced yesterday that Hugh Jackman will be working alongside De Niro in “Selma,” the next film by Lee Daniels, who is currently riding the gravy train after the success of “Precious.” The film chronicles the incidents surrounding the infamous Bloody Sunday events that took place during the civil rights marches between Selma and Montgomey, Alabama in 1965. De Niro will be playing the racist governor George Wallace, Jackman will play (the also racist) Sheriff Jim Clark. Filming is set to take place in May, so De Niro will be looking at a overly booked schedule with this and “The Dark Fields.”

De Niro will be appearing in theaters three times this year--in the still untitled “Meet the Fockers” sequel, in Robert Rodriguez’s grindhouse fare “Machete,” and in the indy “Stone.” Plans for a reunion with Martin Scorsese, where the thespian would play a retired hitman dragged back into the life in “I Heard You Paint Houses,” seem to have stalled, sadly.

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