'Sopranos' star to exec produce, possibly top 'Taxi 22'
HBO is looking to get back into business with “The Sopranos” star James Gandolfini.Gandolfini is among the exec producers behind an adaptation of the French Canadian series “Taxi 22.” Project is also being developed as a potential starring vehicle for the man who was Tony Soprano. The half-hour revolves around a politically incorrect cab driver in New York City. The original “Taxi 22” (titled “Taxi 0-22” there) airs on Quebec’s TVA network, where the show is now in its fourth season. Canadian actor/humorist stars Patrick Huard in the role of Rogatien Dubois Jr. Huard is an exec producer on the U.S. adaptation as well. The “Taxi 22” format has been sold internationally, already spawning a version in Brazil. Dave Flebotte is writing the HBO version and exec producing, along with Gandolfini, Nancy Sanders, Mark Armstrong, Dennis Erdman, Clark Peterson, Huard and Francois Flamand. Robert Horn is attached as a consultant. Flebotte’s credits include “Desperate Housewives,” “Will & Grace” and “Ellen.” Gandolfini’s Attaboy Films, which has a production deal at HBO, would produce with the cabler. Gandolfini has kicked around several different projects at HBO, and is also developing an Ernest Hemingway longform (in which he’d likely play Papa) there. Gandolfini also exec produced the special “Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq” for HBO. The actor’s feature credits include “The Taking of Pelham 123,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” “The Mexican” and “The Man Who Wasn’t There.” He’s best known, of course, for his six-season stint on “The Sopranos.”