Looks like the man who was Tony Soprano won’t be back on HBO in, at least, the near future.
According to Deadline, the premium cable network has passed on “Criminal Justice,” the drama pilot in which James Gandolfini played a lead role. The project, which was announced in September and shot in the fall, is a remake of the 2008 Peter Moffat BBC series that each season followed one person through the criminal process — Ben Whishaw in the first round, Maxine Peake in the second.
Gandolfini played a jailhouse lawyer in the New York-set HBO pilot, while Rizwan Ahmed (“Four Lions”), Bill Camp (“Compliance”), Peyman Moadi and Poorna Jagannathan also starred. The episode was written by Richard Price (“Lush Life”) and directed by Oscar-winning writer Steven Zaillian (“Schindler’s List”), but despite the talent attached, didn’t please the famously finicky HBO enough to get a greenlight.
HBO’s most recent drama series order was for “True Detective,” starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey and directed by Cary Fukunaga, which bypassed the pilot process. Gandolfini, who’s been otherwise keeping to film since the end of “The Sopranos,” did star in HBO 2011 original movie “Cinema Verite” (directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini) and executive produced 2012’s “Hemingway & Gellhorn.”