De Niro Might Just Rejoin the Mafia

by | November 15, 2005 | Comments

Variety reports on a project that might bring master actor Robert De Niro back to the genre that made him famous: the mafia-type one. Paramount snagged the rights to an unpublished novel called "The Winter of Frankie Machine," and the studio would love to get Bobby in the lead role.

"Thesp is attached to star in the adaptation of Don Winslow’s yet-to-be-published "The Winter of Frankie Machine." Paramount Pictures has acquired the project with De Niro and Jane Rosenthal‘s Tribeca Films aboard to produce.

De Niro would play a Mafia hit man who has given up the game to become the proprietor of a bait shop. When he finds out that he’s been targeted for a hit, he gets back in the business.

Winslow’s work made the rounds in New York recently, sparking the interest of Tribeca. De Niro and Rosenthal committed to the adaptation and, with the help of CAA, shopped it around to studios.

If the package comes together and a movie gets made, it would bring De Niro back to a type of character that helped make him famous. He has said he wouldn’t return to the Mafia world in film but then "Frankie Machine" came along.

"He did say that (he wouldn’t play a Mafia character)," Rosenthal told Daily Variety. "But along came Don Winslow, who created a perfect character. The lesson here is, never say never.""

Films of De Niro that could be accurately described as "gangster-ish" in nature include "The Godfather Part 2," "Once Upon a Time in America," "The Untouchables," "Goodfellas," "A Bronx Tale," "Casino," "Analyze This," and its wretched sequel.

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