Directing DeNiro and Pacino

 

Robert De Niro and Al Pacino -- the names alone conjure a certain kind of streetwise intensity, an acting style of emotional soul-bearing right out of film's '70s heyday. Both rather famously appeared, if separately, in "The Godfather Part II," and it wasn't until the 1995 film "Heat" that they finally arrived on screen together, albeit briefly.

In "Righteous Kill," opening this fall, Pacino and De Niro at long last share the screen for a significant amount of a movie's running time. Coming from new studio Overture Films and directed by veteran Jon Avnet ("Fried Green Tomatoes") from a screenplay by Russell Gewirtz ("The Inside Man"), the latest outing with these legendary actors finds them playing a pair of grizzled New York City cops. With its serial killer through-line and undercurrent of kinky sex, the film could come across as a grubby, late-'90s erotic thriller were it not for the two stars who have three Oscars between them, making "Righteous Kill" something akin to watching two virtuoso jazz musicians work their way around an old standard.

Speaking recently in his West Los Angeles production offices, Avnet said it was the project's mix of lowdown genre and high-style acting talent that appealed to him. "What I thought the twin masters were, and what interested me, was that it's a genre piece and you have to satisfy the whodunit and the procedural elements, but the purpose of that was to serve the characters and the drama. And what better actors than Bob and Al to do a character piece?"

As someone who considers himself a fan of acting, Avnet said the experience of watching Pacino and De Niro at work did not disappoint.

(Source: LA Times)


Actors, Directors, In-Production


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