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Robert de Niro to headline gangster drama 'Wise Guys' in dual role

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Robert de Niro will play two roles in an upcoming gangster drama, reuniting him with the genre that made him famous. File Photo by Carlo Allegri/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/67c049f1ddcb8c1d86c3f6ab714a1ce6/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Robert de Niro will play two roles in an upcoming gangster drama, reuniting him with the genre that made him famous. File Photo by Carlo Allegri/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Legendary actor Robert de Niro will star in Wise Guys, an upcoming gangster film for Warner Bros., reuniting him with the genre that first made him a household name.

A period drama centered around Italian-American crime bosses Vito Genovese and Frank Costello, the film will take place during the mid 20th-century, as the men attempt to bring their families to the height of the Mafia world.

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Sources told The Hollywood Reporter, who reported the casting on Tuesday, that de Niro will be playing both characters.

Warner Bros. has not commented on de Niro's involvement, although the news was corroborated by numerous other industry outlets, including Deadline and Variety.

Wise Guys will bring de Niro back together with a number of the gangster filmmakers he has collaborated with on past projects.

The film will be directed by Barry Levinson, whom de Niro has previously worked with on films like Wag the Dog and What Just Happened. The veteran director is best known for his Academy Award-winning film Rain Man with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise.

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The script for Wise Guys was reportedly written by Nicholas Pileggi, whose 1985 book -- coincidentally called Wiseguy -- was the basis for Martin Scorsese's 1990 gangster classic Goodfellas, which also starred de Niro.

For the veteran actor, Wise Guys will bring de Niro back to the genre that first put him on the map.

Besides the aforementioned Goodfellas, the 79-year-old de Niro starred in crime films like Casino, The Godfather Part II, Heat and The Untouchables.

In more recent years, he has ventured into other genres and can also be seen in comedy films like Meet the Fockers and Dirty Grandpa.

He recently returned to the gangster world, reuniting with Martin Scorsese in 2019 for the Netflix film The Irishman.

That pair is also helming another upcoming Netflix crime film, Killers of the Flower Moon, which began production in 2021 and also stars Leonardo diCaprio.

Wise Guys is the first original film from Warner Bros. Discovery, the company that was born out of the April mega-merger between Hollywood studio icon WarnerMedia and the documentary channel Discovery.

A release date has not been set for the film, though it was reported that Wise Guys will receive a theatrical release.

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