Robert De Niro replacing James Gandolfini in HBO miniseries 'Criminal Justice'

Robert De Niro attends "The King of Comedy" Robert De Niro attends "The King of Comedy" screening in New York. (April 27, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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Robert De Niro will take over the late James Gandolfini's role in the HBO miniseries "Criminal Justice," scheduled to begin shooting in March.

Deadline.com reports that two-time Oscar-winner De Niro, who earned his seventh Academy Award nomination for last year's "Silver Linings Playbook," will step into the role of ambulance-chasing New York attorney Jack Stone, hired to represent a Pakistani accused of murder. Gandolfini, who had spearheaded this adaptation of the original BBC series, will posthumously remain as executive producer.

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After initially passing on the pilot, HBO announced in May -- a month before Gandolfini's death -- that it was ordering a seven-episode miniseries with a script by novelist-screenwriter Richard Price.

Following Gandolfini's death, HBO said it would not air the pilot episode. Deadline noted, however, that while Stone is central to the story, the character only appears in the final scene, making it unclear if HBO would reshoot the entire pilot or only Gandolfini's scene.

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