Sony Pictures Classics has dated Robert De Niro’s “The Comedian” for release on Feb. 3, two days before the Super Bowl.
Taylor Hackford directed the film from Art Linson’s script. Leslie Mann, Edie Falco, Harvey Keitel, Danny DeVito, Patti LuPone, and Veronica Ferres also star. Producers are Hackford, Linson, John Linson, Mark Canton, and Courtney Solomon.
The executive producers are Cinelou’s Scott Karol, the Fyzz Facility’s Wayne Marc Godfrey and Robert Jones, Mad Riot Entertainment’s Mark Axelowitz and Lawrence Smith, as well as Iain Abrahams, Peter Sobiloff, Dennis Pelino, and Fredy Bush.
De Niro plays a comic icon struggling to reinvent himself as his audience only associates him with his former TV character. 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).
“The Comedian” premiered at the AFI Fest in November followed by an early December awards qualifying run. The film will close the Palm Springs Film Festival on Jan. 15.
“The Comedian” is De Niro’s second film about stand-up comedy. He portrayed a deranged comic in Martin Scorsese’s 1982 film “The King of Comedy,” which also starred Jerry Lewis, Tony Randall, and Sandra Bernhard.