Robert De Niro’s ‘The Comedian’ Lands at Sony Pictures Classics in Time for Awards Season

Tale of acidic stand-up directed by Taylor Hackford also stars Leslie Mann

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The North American rights to Robert De Niro‘s “The Comedian” have landed at Sony Pictures Classics, TheWrap has learned.

Cinelou’s Taylor Hackford-directed film also stars Leslie Mann, Edie Falco, Veronica Ferres, Harvey Keitel and Danny DeVito.

Mann will play a woman who befriends an acerbic stand-up comic (De Niro) after they unexpectedly connect at a wedding.

Jennifer Aniston had signed on to play Mann’s part in November, although an insider told TheWrap that “they couldn’t quite make the dates work and her schedule didn’t allow her to commit to filming.”

“The Comedian” is produced by Hackford, Cinelou’s Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon, as well as Linson Entertainment’s Art Linson and John Linson. The film is executive produced by Cinelou’s Scott Karol, the Fyzz Facility’s Wayne Marc Gofrey and Robert Jones, Mad Riot Entertainment’s Mark Axelowitz and Lawrence Smith, as well as Iain Abrahams, Peter Sobiloff, Dennis Pelino and Fredy Bush.

“Robert De Niro is at his very best in ‘The Comedian.’ Leslie Mann is a revelation. A rich supporting cast including Danny DeVito, Edie Falco, Patti LuPone, Cloris Leachman, and Harvey Keitel really delivers,” Sony Pictures Classics said in a statement. “Taylor Hackford is the accomplished ringmaster. It will be a pleasure bringing this satisfying movie to American audiences. It is great to be in business with our friends Art Linson, Courtney Solomon and Mark Canton.”

Hackford added, “Being invited by Bob De Niro and Art Linson to join them in actualizing their long-gestating passion project was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. Passion was the key word for everyone on this film — with De Niro in the lead, and Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon’s Cinelou making it happen.”

Warner Bros. International will be handling foreign distribution under its deal with Cinelou.