Robert De Niro’s ‘The Comedian’ Lands Director Taylor Hackford

Taylor Hackford has come on board to direct Robert De Niro’s drama “The Comedian,” based on Art Linson’s script, with plans to begin production in New York early next year.

Linson will produce with Courtney Solomon and Atmosphere’s Mark Canton, who are both financing.

Mike Newell (“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”) had been tapped to direct in May but left due to schedule conflicts.

De Niro will play a Don Rickles-style standup comic who specializes in insults, with the script’s standup material written by Comedy Central Roast mainstay Jeffrey Ross.

De Niro will be seen later this year in Warner Bros.’ “The Intern” opposite Anne Hathaway and in David O. Russell’s “Joy,” playing the father of Jennifer Lawrence’s character.

Hackford’s credits include “Ray,” “Dolores Claiborne,” “The Devil’s Advocate” and “White Knights.” He and De Niro are repped by CAA.

The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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