Sean Penn to Direct Robert De Niro and Kristen Wiig in 'The Comedian'

Getty Images

Glen Basner's FilmNation will handle international sales on the drama, about a washed-up comedian chasing after fame.

Sean Penn is set to direct The Comedian, starring Robert De Niro and Kristen Wiig. Glen Basner's Film Nation will launch the high-profile project to foreign buyers at the upcoming American Film Market.

Penn is set to start shooting in the spring.

In the film, De Niro plays a raging comic who wants to restore the fame he once enjoyed as a popular television character. After being sentenced to community service for hitting an audience member in the head with a microphone, he meets a dazzling redhead (Wiig) who turns his life sideways.

"We're so excited to be working with such an amazingly talent group of filmmakers on this movie. It simply doesn't get much better than this, especially for us New Yorkers," Basner said.

Written by Art Linson with Jeffrey Ross, the drama will be produced by Linson, John Linson, Jon Kilik and De Niro. Shannon Costello will associate produce.

CAA is representing domestic rights to the film.