Levinson & De Niro to Pair Up for Tinseltown Satire

by | October 27, 2005 | Comments

Variety brings news of an intriguing project that’s being described as "Wag the Dog" of the moviemaking world." Robert De Niro will play the lead character in "What Just Happened?," which is based on the memoirs of veteran Hollywood producer Art Linson. Barry Levinson will direct.

De Niro will play a Linson-like producer who is going through two weeks of hell as he tries to get a picture made. Sean Penn is expected to play himself, and other famous faces are slated to take part in a comedy the filmmakers hope will do for moviemaking what "Wag the Dog" did for politics. Levinson directed that political comedy, Rosenthal produced it, and De Niro starred in it.

It was at De Niro’s behest that Linson turned his book into a script. Linson, who produced such De Niro vehicles as "The Untouchables," "Heat" and "This Boy’s Life," gave the actor the book, and De Niro saw a character he wanted to play. Levinson said that while the script is funny, it is spot on in its depiction of the eccentricities of a peculiar business. Linson’s book was subtitled "Bitter Hollywood Tales From the Front Line," after all."

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