Sean Penn to Direct 'The Comedian' with Robert De Niro & Kristen Wiig
Aside form his turns in comedies like Meet the Parents and Analyze This, back in 1983, Robert De Niro actually portrayed a comedian in Martin Scorsese's film The King of Comedy. Now the actor is taking another role as a comic with Deadline having a report on The Comedian, just one of many projects that will emerge from next week's American Film Market. Actor Sean Penn is returning to the director's chair and De Niro will play, Jackie Burke, a raging comic past his prime who clings to any recognition that comes from his days as a beloved TV character as he desperately attempts to reignite his stagnant career. Read on!
Sentenced to community service for smacking a heckler in the head with a microphone (something every comic has dreamed of doing at one time or another), Burke sparks a new relationship with Harmony, a dazzling and defiant redhead who turns his life sideways. Bridesmaids star Kristen Wiig will also start in the film, and while it's not specifically said that she'll be playing Harmony, if the film is being sold at AFM, the two talents mentioned are likely playing the two main characters mentioned in the film's brief synopsis.
Pairing Wiig and De Niro might seem odd, but the latter actor has matched wits with some great comedic talent previously like Billy Crystal and Ben Stiller in the aforementioned comedies, and The King of Comedy proves his charisma on the stage as a comic as well. The material does however seem like something new for Penn who last directed Emile Hirsch in Into the Wild back in 2007 and the crime drama The Pledge in 2001 before that. Maybe some real comics from today's stand-up roster will appear in the film as well. We'll see.