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‘Righteous’ Project for De Niro, Pacino

Jon Avnet’s new mob flick Righteous Kill will pair Hollywood legends Robert De Niro and Al Pacino for only the second time in their careers. The project will unite De Niro and Pacino, both friends off set; in the most screen time they have ever shared together.

Jon Avnet’s new mob flick Righteous Kill will pair Hollywood legends Robert De Niro and Al Pacino for only the second time in their careers. The project will unite De Niro and Pacino, both friends off set; in the most screen time they have ever shared together.

The $60 million production budget, backed by Nu Image’s Millennium Films and Emmett/Furla Films will follow two cops (De Niro and Pacino) chasing a serial killer. Pacino recently worked with Avnet on the critically panned 88 minutes, which has been released as a direct-to-DVD in Brazil, but has not shown in the US. Tentative release date is December 3, 2007. Avnet’s sole significant contribution to the industry was 1991’s Fried Green Tomatoes; he has otherwise done a significant number of films targeting the tween audience.

Pacino and De Niro on the other hand, have significantly impacted the industry, and have previously worked two scenes together in Michael Mann’s 1995 release Heat. The pair also starred in Godfather 2, but had no scenes together.

At a press conference in Cannes, Nu Image chief Avi Lerner and Randall Emmett chose not to disclose further plot points or source material. Of the six producers for the project, Lerner, Emmett and Avnet comprise half, with Russell Gerwitz (Inside Man) penning.

Emmett stated that the idea for the project came from the stars looking for a film to do together, “They're friends, and this really all got started from that,” he said, “This is an event in world history.

While the indie budget may qualify for world event status, it remains to be seen whether Avnet can pull off a significant film, or if it will fall to the wayside alongside 88 minutes, Inspector Gadget and D3: The Mighty Ducks.

Filming is set to begin August 6 in Connecticut with some scenes shooting in Gotham.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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