USA

Robert De Niro to Star in Lionsgate Comedy ‘About My Father’

Robert De Niro has joined the cast of “About My Father,” an upcoming film that’s loosely based on the life of standup comic Sebastian Maniscalco.

De Niro is set to play Maniscalco’s dad Salvo in the movie, reuniting the pair after first appearing together in Martin Scorsese’s mob drama “The Irishman.”

In “About My Father,” Sebastian tells his old-school Italian immigrant dad of his plans to propose to his all-American girlfriend, prompting Salvo to insist on crashing a weekend with her parents.

Nathan Kahane, president of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, says production on the film will begin later in 2021.

“The way Sebastian talks about his father, Salvo sounds to us like the type of guy who thinks that Robert De Niro should play him in a movie. So we thought, why not?” Kahane said in a statement. “Actually, Robert De Niro is incredibly selective about the projects he chooses, so we are thrilled that he responded so strongly to this hilarious and heartfelt screenplay. He’ll make a fantastic and funny pairing with Sebastian.”

“About My Father” will be directed Laura Terruso (“Work It” starring Sabrina Carpenter) from a script by Maniscalco and Austen Earl. Depth of Field, the company behind Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell” and Disney’s upcoming “Pinocchio” remake with Tom Hanks, is producing the movie. Depth of Field executives Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz, and Andrew Miano will serve as producers, with Judi Marmel serving as an executive producer. James Myers and Chelsea Kujawa are overseeing production for the studio. Phil Strina negotiated the deal on behalf of the studio.

“We’ve been fans of Laura’s for a while,” Paul Weitz said in a statement. “Like Sebastian, her parents are Italian immigrants and she locked into this story.”

Maniscalco’s profile has risen through the release of several popular standup specials, including “Sebastian Live,” “What’s Wrong With People?” “Aren’t You Embarrassed?” and “Stay Hungry.” In addition to “The Irishman,” his screen credits include “Green Book” and an upcoming still-untitled film by Ray Romano.

De Niro’s most recent film “The War With Grandpa” was a pandemic-era box office hit, generating $40 million in global ticket sales. He’s appearing next in Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” James Gray’s “Armageddon Time” and David O. Russell’s next film.

Maniscalco is represented by UTA and Levity Entertainment Group. De Niro is represented by CAA. Terruso is represented by CAA and Industry Entertainment. Depth of Field company is represented by UTA.

Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.

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