HBO’s miniseries “Criminal Justice,” which James Gandolfini was working on at the time of his death, is going forward with a new star.
John Turturro will take over the role Gandolfini was set to play, Deadline reports. The seven-part miniseries focuses on a low-rent New York lawyer, Jack Stone, who takes on the defense of a Pakistani man (Riz Ahmed) accused of murdering a girl.
Gandolfini had filmed the pilot episode of “Criminal Justice” at the time of his 2013 death. Robert De Niro initially committed to take over the role of Stone but had to drop out last fall for scheduling reasons. The hiring of Turturro (“Fading Gigolo,” “O Brother Where Art Thou”) allows the project to go forward.
Gandolfini will receive a posthumous credit as an executive producer of the miniseries, which is loosely based on a British show of the same title and which he helped develop at HBO. Richard Price (“The Wire”) is writing all seven installments, and Steven Zaillian (“All the King’s Men”) will direct.