April 21, 2014 2:45pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
John Turturro Replaces Robert De Niro in HBO's James Gandolfini Mini 'Criminal Justice'
HBO's long-gestating miniseries Criminal Justice -- originally planned as a starring vehicle for the late James Gandolfini -- has undergone a casting change.
Robert De Niro, who signed on to replace the late Sopranos star, has exited the seven-hour miniseries due to a scheduling conflict, with O Brother, Where Art Thou's John Turturro taking over the lead role, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Criminal Justice, a U.S. adaptation of Peter Moffat's 2008 BBC drama of the same name, was originally developed as a series at HBO. The network passed on the pilot in February 2013, only to revive it as a limited series last May.
Criminal Justice is being produced by HBO in association with BBC Worldwide Prods. and Film Rites. De Niro's Tribeca Films banner will exit the production. The story follows Jack Stone (Turturro), an ambulance-chasing lawyer who becomes involved in a case defending a young man accused of murdering a girl on New York's Upper West Side. Riz Ahmed, Bill Camp, Peyman Moaadi and Poorna Jagannathan also star.
Steve Zaillian will executive produce and direct. Richard Price will pen the script and exec produce alongside BBC Worldwide's Jane Tranter, Gandolfini and Moffat. Film Rites' Garrett Basch and Attaboy's Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders will serve as co-exec producers.
Turturro, who had multiple offers this pilot season, earned a Golden Globe for his supporting turn in 1994's Quiz Show and won an Emmy for his guest role on USA Network's Monk. He is a three-time SAG Award nominee for roles in The Bronx Is Burning, Monday Night Mayhem and Quiz Show. Repped by ICM Partners and attorney George Sheanshang, the actor-writer-director's credits include the Transformers franchise, Illuminata, Secret Window, Romance and Cigarettes and Margot at the Wedding.