By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist October 27, 2011 at 5:05AM
"The Comedian" with Robert De Niro has been knocking around for most of the year, with updates coming in fits and starts but nothing ever seeming quite official. But with the American Film Market launching next week, a plethora of projects are beginning to be put together to shill to producers, investors and other industry folks, and this is easily the most tantalizing.
First rumored in the middle of the summer that Sean Penn was going to direct, Deadline confirms that not only is he behind the camera, but that Kristen Wiig will be joining the movie as well. Guess that's why "Bridesmaids 2" isn't on the top of her To Do list.
Written by producer Art Linson and Jeffrey Ross, the film chronicles the exploits of an aging, bitterly funny insult comic in the vein of Don Rickles and Joan Rivers named Jackie Burke (De Niro), who is sentenced to community service after hitting a heckler in the head with a microphone. During his stint paying his dues to society, he meets Harmony (Wiig), a redhead who turns his world upside down. This will be a reteam of sorts for Penn and De Niro, who have starred together in "We're No Angels" and "What Just Happened." Linson also produced the latter film along with “The Untouchables” and “Heat,” which starred De Niro.
As for Wiig, this is a massive career choice and shows that the comedienne/actress is eager to spread her wings, try different roles and challenge herself rather than quickly get stuck in a rut playing the same type of character. With this and "Imogene" she's really challenging expectations, and we love it. Should everything come together, lensing will begin in the spring, and we can't wait for De Niro to return to the world of stand up comedy he did so well (even if deranged) in "The King Of Comedy."