It’s not exactly a chance to see what fate befell his “The Sopranos” character post-“Don’t Stop Believin’,” but the prospect of getting to see more James Gandolfini on HBO can only be a good thing. Deadline reports that Gandolfini has been cast in a lead role in the pilot for “Criminal Justice,” written by Richard Price (“Lush Life,” “The Color Of Money”), to be directed by Steven Zaillian (“Gangs of New York,” “Schindler’s List”) and slated to shoot this fall.
According to Deadline, “Criminal Justice” is a crime drama set in New York and loosely based on Peter Moffat’s 2006 BBC series of the same name. Rizwan Ahmed (“Four Lions”), Bill Camp (“Compliance”), Peyman Moadi and Poorna Jagannathan are also in the cast. The British version of the show was made up of two season, each five episode long and broadcast over successive nights, following the journey of an individual through the justice system.
HBO’s version will share a storyline with season one, about a young man (Ben Whishaw) who picks up a girl and goes back to her apartment for a debaucherous night, waking to find her dead with no memory of how it happened.
In the US take, the defendant will be an American-born Pakistani (played by Ahmed), and Gandolfini will play a jailhouse lawyer who looks for new clients at police precincts. Moadi and Jagannathan will play the young man’s parents, and Camp is the lead detective on the case. While Gandolfini hasn’t committed to a new series since the end of his iconic mob drama, he hasn’t cut ties with HBO, starring in the network’s original movie “Cinema Verite” (directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini) and executive producing this year’s “Hemingway & Gellhorn.”