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Sony Pictures Classics has acquired North American rights to the Robert De Niro comedy “The Comedian” from Cinelou and plans an awards-qualifying run later this year.

Taylor Hackford is directing from Art Linson’s script. Leslie Mann, Edie Falco, Harvey Keitel, Danny DeVito, Patti LuPone, and Veronica Ferres also star.

Producers include Hackford, Cinelou’s Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon, and Linson Entertainment’s Art Linson and John Linson.

Executive producers include Cinelou’s Scott Karol, the Fyzz Facility’s Wayne Marc Godfrey and Robert Jones, Mad Riot Entertainment’s Mark Axelowitz and Lawrence Smith, as well as Iain Abrahams, Peter Sobiloff, Dennis Pelino, and Fredy Bush.

De Niro plays a comic icon who has seen better days. Despite his efforts to reinvent himself, the audience only wants to know him as the former television character he once played. He’s a strain on his younger brother (DeVito) and his wife (LuPone) and is being forced to serve out a sentence doing community service for accosting an audience member.

While there, he finds inspiration by meeting Mann’s character, the daughter of a sleazy Florida real estate mogul (Keitel).

Cinelou’s Canton said in a statement, ”Robert De Niro has been nurturing this story for years, so we’re incredibly honored to have been able to help bring it to life. Sony Classics is tailor-made to release the film, as Michael Barker and Tom Bernard have the perfect sensibility for it.”

Warner Bros. International will be handling foreign distribution, under its deal with Cinelou.

The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.