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James Gandolfini Returns To HBO To Star With Riz Ahmed In ‘Criminal Justice’ Pilot, Steve Zaillian To Direct

James Gandolfini Returns To HBO To Star With Riz Ahmed In 'Criminal Justice' Pilot, Steve Zaillian To Direct

It seems that HBO and James Gandolfini are just the kind of couple that are meant to be together. Of course, the network and star both mutually benefited with the rousing success of “The Sopranos,” but even after the show was over they kept each other’s phone numbers. Gandolfini’s been attached to a number of brewing projects for his old employers, and a few years later the actor co-starred in the HBO movie “Cinema Verite” with Diane Lane and Tim Robbins. And it looks like they’re set to work together again as the cable channel has greenlit a pilot that will put Tony Soprano back in the fold.

Gandolfini will join Riz Ahmed in the bland-it-needs-a-title-change “Criminal Justice.” A remake of the 2008 BBC series that starred Ben Whishaw, the project will boast a script from writers Steve Zaillian (“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo“) and Richard Price (“Clockers“), and the story will follow “a man who takes his father’s cab for a drive and picks up a party girl who takes him to her apartment for a drunken and drug-filled night out. When he wakes up in the morning, Ben finds the girl stabbed to death and, though he can’t remember committing the crime, he is soon charged with it.” Ahmed will play the American-born, Pakistani young man while Gandolfini will be his “disheveled” (lol) jailhouse, Lionel Hutz-style lawyer.

Needless to say, this sounds kind of awesome and is ripe with potential, so let’s hope it gets past pilot to series. Certainly, there is some great talent here, and being guaranteed Gandolfini on a weekly basis is something we’d definitely welcome. [Deadline]

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