Just days after adding HBO alum James Gandolfini to the cast of “Burt Wonderstone,” New Line is recruiting another actor known for playing a gangster on the pay cabler, as “Boardwalk Empire” star Steve Buscemi is in early negotiations to join Steve Carell and Jim Carrey in the magician comedy.
Buscemi has been offered the role of Anton, a Las Vegas magician who’s the longtime friend and partner of the title character, played by Carell. After being injured by Burt during their “Hotbox” trick, he decides to quit the act and teach magic in the Far East. When a hot-shot street magician (Carrey) starts coming on strong, Burt must convince Anton to return to the stage. Gandolfini co-stars as a billionaire who owns the casino where Burt and Anton perform their show, while Olivia Wilde and Sarah Silverman are being eyed for the female lead as the duo’s magic assistant.
Don Scardino (“30 Rock”) is directing the laffer, which is skedded to start production in January, when “Boardwalk” is on hiatus.
While Buscemi is best known for his dramatic roles in films such as “Reservoir Dogs” and “Fargo,” he has a long comedic history including multiple collaboration with Adam Sandler, as well as key roles in cult pics “The Big Lebowski” and “Ghost World.” Thesp, whose perf as Nucky Thompson on “Boardwalk Empire” recently earned him an Emmy nomination, will next be seen in Oren Moverman’s “Rampart” and Walter Salles’ adaptation of “On the Road.” He also voices lead roles in Pixar’s “Monsters University” and Sony Pictures Animation’s “Hotel Transylvania.”
Buscemi is repped by WME and The Gotham Group.