Robert De Niro’s ‘The Comedian’ to Premiere at AFI Fest

Dave McNary
Variety

The world premiere of Robert De Niro’s “The Comedian” will take place on Nov. 11 at the Egyptian Theatre during AFI Fest.

Sony Classics acquired North American rights to “The Comedian” on Oct. 5 and plans an awards-qualifying run later this year.

Taylor Hackford is directing from Art Linson’s script. Leslie Mann, Edie Falco, Harvey Keitel, Danny DeVito, Patti LuPone, and Veronica Ferres also star. Producers are Art Linson, John Linson, Mark Canton, Courtney Solomon and Hackford,

De Niro plays a comic icon trying to reinvent himself with the audience only wanting to know him as the former TV character he once played. He’s a strain on his younger brother (DeVito) and his wife (LuPone) and is being forced to serve out a sentence doing community service for accosting an audience member. While there, he finds inspiration by meeting Mann’s character, the daughter of a sleazy Florida real estate mogul (Keitel).

“AFI Fest has always been one of the best places to launch a major film,” said Michael Barker, Sony Pictures Classics Co-President. “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.”

The AFI Fest will open at the TCL Chinese on Nov. 10 with the world premiere of Warren Beatty’s “Rules Don’t Apply.” It’s also screening Isabelle Huppert’s “Elle” on Nov. 13 and Annette Bening’s “20th Century Women” on Nov. 16.

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