Actors Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are teaming up on a film to be directed by Jon Avnet (“88 Minutes“) titled “Righteous Kill,” a $60 million project to be produced by Nu Image‘s Millennium Films. Set to begin shooting in Connecticut and New York August 6, the film was described by producers Avi Lerner and Randall Emmett of Emmett/Furla Films as a thriller about two cops, played by De Niro and Pacino, chasing a serial killer.
“[This film] is an event for me, I’ve never been involved with such iconic actors,” said Lerner from the Noga Hilton hotel to a group of journalists Thursday afternoon in Cannes. “I know other people will compare [“Righteous”] to other films the two have appeared in together like ‘Heat‘ or ‘Godfather II,’ but this is the first time they’re both together for [most] of the film.”
Lerner touted the project’s indie credentials, despite the seemingly big budget, explaining that the film is not being produced in partnership with a studio. Lerner, one of six producing the film, said financing is coming entirely from their camp. “If a studio put together this, it would be a $100 million [movie] but we’re doing it for sixty,” he said. “We believe the independent world can do it more effectively, more cost-effective and with a heart… We feel like we’re making history.”
Emmett said talks on the project, which will be written by Russell Gerwitz (“Inside Man“), went late into the night. Millennium exec Lonnie Ramati negotiated the deal with CAA who represented Gerwitz as well as De Niro and Pacino. [Brian Brooks]