Gandolfini will star in an adaptation of British drama “Criminal Justice,” which HBO has ordered to pilot, Deadline reports. He’ll play a defense attorney who trolls for clients in police precincts and appoints himself counsel for a young man (Rizwan Ahmed) accused of murder.
“Criminal Justice” ran for two five-episode seasons in the U.K. and won BAFTA Awards for best drama serial and best writing (by creator Peter Moffat). Each season told a separate story, with different characters, of one person’s journey through the justice system. If the HBO version is picked up, the first season will follow the story of the original. Gandolfini would return for subsequent seasons, however.
Richard Price (“The Wire,” “NYC 22”) and Steven Zaillian (“Moneyball,” “Schindler’s List”) are co-writing the script, and Zaillian will direct the pilot. They’ll also be executive producers, along with Gandolfini, Moffat, Jane Tranter, Nancy Sanders and Mark Armstrong.
Gandolfini starred in HBO’s movie “Cinema Verite” last year and has developed a couple of other projects with HBO, but none of them made it off the page. If “Criminal Justice” is picked up, it will be his first series role since “The Sopranos” ended in 2007.