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May 12, 2021 11:41am

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Robert De Niro, Laura Terruso
Courtesy of Brigitte Lacombe; Micki Poklar

EXCLUSIVE: Two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro has signed on to star opposite standup comic Sebastian Maniscalco in About My Father, the Lionsgate comedy loosely based on Maniscalco’s life and his relationship with his father. Laura Terruso, who directed the 2020 YA comedy Work It and co-wrote the Sally Field-starrer Hello, My Name Is Doris, has been tapped to direct About My Father from a screenplay by Maniscalco and Austen Earl.

In the film, when Sebastian tells his old-school Italian immigrant father Salvo (De Niro) that he is going to propose to his all-American girlfriend, Salvo insists on crashing a weekend with her tony parents. Though cultures clash and it seems that the two families have nothing in common, by the end of the weekend, they’ll be la famiglia. The pic reunites De Niro and Maniscalco after the two first appeared together in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman.

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Depth of Field’s Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz, and Andrew Miano are producing the pic with Judi Marmel serving as executive producer.

“The way Sebastian talks about his father, Salvo sounds to us like the type of guy who thinks that Robert De Niro should play him in a movie. So we thought, why not?” said Nathan Kahane, president of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group. “Actually, Robert De Niro is incredibly selective about the projects he chooses, so we are thrilled that he responded so strongly to this hilarious and heartfelt screenplay. He’ll make a fantastic and funny pairing with Sebastian and we can’t wait to start production later this year.”

Paul Weitz adds, “We’ve been fans of Laura’s for a while. Like Sebastian, her parents are Italian immigrants and she locked into this story.”

James Myers and Chelsea Kujawa are overseeing production for the studio.

Upcoming projects for De Niro include Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, David O. Russell’s untitled New Regency film, and James Gray’s Armageddon Time. He is repped by CAA.

Terruso, whose other directing credits include indie films Good Girls Get High and Fits and Starts, is repped CAA, Industry Entertainment and Goodman Genow Schenkman.