‘Criminal Justice’ HBO will be continuing with plans to make a seven-part miniseries called ‘Criminal Justice’ that was originally meant to star the late actor James Gandolfini.

In late June of this year (2013) the 51 year, James Gandolfini, unfortunately passed away while on vacations with his son in Italy. Ever since then the show was thought to be completely disbanded but academy award-winning actor Robert De Niro has reportedly stepped in to take over the role with HBO remaining Gandolfini as an executive producer posthumously, according to Deadline.

‘Criminal Justice’ is based on Peter Moffat’s 2008 BBC series of the same name and is written by Richard Price. The first episode will be directed by Steven Zaillian, who has been closely attached to the project for the last four years.

Gandolfini was expected to begin filming for the miniseries when he arrived from his vacation in Rome and because the beloved actor was so passionate and devoted about the project, HBO began to explore options of how they could still create it in his honour.

His replacement, Robert De Niro, will play Jack Stone, an ambulance-chasing New York City attorney who takes on the case of a Pakistani man accused of murdering a girl on New York’s Upper West Side. The attorney will be the central character in the crime-drama.

The pilot, shot in May of this year (2013) looked very different as the attorney only appeared in the final scene, which is one of the main reasons the production team felt they could recast the role, but only to someone who Gandolfini would have approved of and who would honour his legacy. De Niro is possibly the best replacement they could have asked for and Gandolfini would have been more than happy to have one of the greatest actors in the last 40 years replace him.

‘Criminal Justice’ is being produced by HBO in association with BBC Worldwide Prods., Film Rites and Tribeca Films. Gandolfini, Moffat, Price and Zaillian will be executive producers alongside BBC Worldwide’s Jane Tranter and Tribeca’s Jane Rosenthal, with Film Rites’ Garrett Basch and Attaboy’s Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders serving as co-executive producers and Berry Welsh as co-producer.

robert de niro
Robert De Niro is set to replace James Gandolfini in 'Criminal Justice'