Jennifer Aniston will co-star in Robert De Niro and screenwriter/producer Art Linson (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Fight Club, Into the Wild)’s long-gestating drama, The Comedian. Aniston is slated to be in a “close relationship” with the legendary actor, who plays a Don Rickles-esque “toxic insult comic,” according to Deadline. Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman, Ray) will direct the film.
Now 72, De Niro previously starred as a stand-up comic in the Martin Scorsese-directed 1982 black comedy, The King of Comedy. He played the creepy aspiring comic Rupert Pupkin, who decides stalking a late-night talk show host is his way to fame. While it was well-received by critics, the film made just $2.5 million at the box office (on a $19 million budget) according to Box Office Mojo.
For The Comedian, it sounds like De Niro will play a different sort of not-so-nice comic. He’ll certainly have good material to work with though, as Variety notes that Comedy Central Roast’s Jeffrey Ross wrote his stand-up routine in the script. Also upcoming for De Niro is David O. Russell’s Joy, where the legendary actor will play the father of Jennifer Lawrence’s character.
Deadline notes that Aniston’s character will meet De Niro’s character at a wedding. The actor best known for her starring role in Friends is in the midst of shooting The Yellow Birds, about two young soldiers in the Iraq War. Her most recent roles on the silver screen were as Dr. Julia Harris in Horrible Bosses 2, and as Claire Bennett in Cake.
Cinelou, which also funded Cake, is financing The Comedian. Art Linson will produce the film with John Linson, Cinelou’s Mark Canton, and Courtney Solomon. The American film production and distribution company finished the Eddie Murphy-starring and Bruce Beresford-directed Henry Joseph Church earlier this year.