De Niro To Play Racist, Alcoholic, Bounty-Hunting Governor

It’s actually three separate roles, but I’d love to see De Niro mash them all into one crazy movie.

Deadline Hollywood reported that Robert De Niro has changed agencies, and if you care about that I’d argue you’re probably reading the wrong site. But buried deep in their story, so deep that even they didn’t know it was news, is word about a few of De Niro’s upcoming film projects. Those of us who can’t stand going more than a few sentences deep into Nikki Finke’s world can thank ComingSoon for spotting the interesting details.

De Niro’s potentially attached to three upcoming films… Selma from director Lee Daniels (Precious), Another Night in Suck City from director Paul Weitz (In Good Company), and… wait for it… a sequel to the classic 1988 buddy comedy Midnight Run.

Selma will find De Niro portraying racist Alabama Governor George Wallace in a story that looks at segregation and civil rights through the eyes of some of the most famous players of the time. Wallace, President Lyndon Johnson, and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. are the three iconic characters, and we should be hearing casting news for the other two roles soon as Daniels will probably make this his next project. I prefer De Niro in more comedic or quirky roles, but there’s no denying the man plays an incredibly terrifying asshole.

Another Night in Suck City is based on the memoir by Nick Flynn about his time spent working in a homeless shelter. De Niro would play Flynn’s alcoholic father who crosses paths with his son as he moves in and out of the system. It sounds like a downer as the man sinks further and further down into a spiral of lies, alcoholism, and defeat, and I think the success of the film will rest on whomever takes the role of Flynn.

And then there’s the proposed sequel to Midnight Run. Director Martin Brest’s buddy pic about a mob accountant (Charles Grodin) and the bounty hunter trying to bring him in may be over twenty years-old but the movie still holds up today. It’s funny, suspenseful, and the two actors have some great chemistry together. As the folks over at The Playlist have pointed out the two actors are up there in years now so the thought of them running anywhere seems out of the question… and I would add that I doubt either of them even stay up past 11pm anymore, let alone midnight. Still, the thought of them reuniting is appealing…

Do any of these flicks excite you? Which do you think De Niro should work on first?

Rob is the Chief Film Critic of Film School Rejects. He doesn't eat cheese on weekdays.

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