The trailer for Robert De Niro’s latest The Comedian sees the acting icon playing an aging insult comic trying to kick-start his career.
Directed by Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman, Ray), the project has been in development for a while and previously had both Martin Scorsese and Sean Penn attached to direct.
Here’s the trailer for The Comedian:
The two-time Oscar winner plays Jackie Burke, an old school comedian who enjoys roasting his audience. The script was co-developed by comic Jeff Ross, who has gained a sizeable fanbase in recent years for his stints on Comedy Central Roast specials. Ross penned the cutting one liners for the film – and some of which pop up in the trailer.
There are obvious comparisons here with Scorsese’s classic The King Of Comedy (1983), which also starred De Niro, and is now widely revered despite flopping in the U.S. upon release. However, judging by the preview, The Comedian does not come close to the dark complexity of that film and looks fluffy in comparison.
Leslie Mann (Big Daddy, Knocked Up) plays the much younger love interest who is won over by the elderly lothario’s talent and ability to work a crowd.
The supporting cast for this film is nothing short of sensational – starting with Danny DeVito as the estranged brother of De Niro. In my opinion, DeVito is one of the best comic actors in the business and it’s always a treat to see him on screen.
The legendary Harvey Keitel pops up as Mann’s concerned father and the always brilliant Edie Falco plays De Niro’s manager. There is also a cameo from Billy Crystal.
Despite the lightness of the trailer, director Hackford describes the movie as a “dark comedy.” Speaking with EW, he said: “I saw the movie as a dark drama with some comedy.
“But then we tested it with an audience, and they really laughed hard. So better to call it a dark comedy with drama.”
Studio Sony is giving De Niro an all-mighty Oscar’s push for this movie in the hope the Goodfellas actor will secure his eighth acting nomination.
The revered method actor previously won Best Supporting Actor for The Godfather Part II and Best Actor for his career defining performance in Scorsese’s masterpiece Raging Bull.
As part of the Sony’s award’s strategy, The Comedian is being rolled out in New York and Los Angeles on December 2, and then a general release worldwide from January onwards.