Robert De Niro's 'The Comedian' to Get AFI Fest Premiere

The film, directed by Taylor Hackford, will bow at the fest on Nov. 11.
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Robert De Niro

The Oscar race may just have gotten a little more crowded, as the American Film Institute just announced that The Comedian, a comedy directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Robert De Niro — both Academy Award winners — will have its world premiere at the Egyptian Theatre on Nov. 11 as part of the 30th annual AFI Fest.

Leslie Mann, Danny DeVito, Edie Falco, Charles Grodin, Cloris Leachman, Patti LuPone and Harvey Keitel also star in the film, which was written by Art Linson and Jeff Ross and centers on an aging comic icon (De Niro) who, despite efforts to reinvent himself, is stuck in the public's imagination as the TV character that made him famous years earlier.

The film will be distributed in the U.S. by Sony Classics. It currently is slated for a Jan. 13, 2017, release, but reports suggest it will receive an Oscar-qualifying run in 2016.

"AFI Fest has always been one of the best places to launch a major film," Sony Classics co-president Michael Barker said in a statement. "Taylor Hackford's accomplished and biting comedy is a perfect premiere for the festival. Robert De Niro and Leslie Mann have never been better, and the supporting cast is constantly surprising."