Wednesday’s shocking death of James Gandolfini not only leaves behind legions of bereft fans, but two major projects at HBO and another at CBS, all of whose immediate futures are now up in the air.
Those were in addition to his recently completed role in the theatrical film due for release next year, Enough Said, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a recently divorced woman and Catherine Keener as her friend and ex-wife of Gandolfini. Louis-Dreyfus falls in love with him, says the Hollywood Reporter.
According to Deadline.com, Gandolfini’s HBO-based Attaboy Prods. had the actor-producer set to costar with Steve Carell in Bone Wars, about a pair of real-life paleontologists after the Civil War who discovered the fossils of more than 160 dinosaurs.
“Unbelievably sad news. A fine man,” Carell Tweeted Wednesday.
In addition, Gandolfini was at work on HBO’s seven-part “limited event” series Criminal Justice, loosely adapted from a 2008 BBC version and starring him as Jack Stone, an ambulance-chasing attorney in New York. So far, only the pilot episode has been shot, with an HBO spokesperson telling news outlets that no decision regarding the show’s future has been decided.
Deadline also reports that the script for the CBS entry, Taxi-22, based on a French Canadian comedy, was only recently approved. Its executive producer Clark Peterson said that the project remains in development, adding, “We are devastated. He was a great man and a unique embodiment of creativity, humanity, and humility.” Without Gandolfini, Peterson said, “We’ll always be flying in the missing-man formation.”
Gandolfini, 51, died Wednesday of an apparent heart attack in Rome, where he was on vacation and set to participate in an event at the 59th Taormina Film Festival with actress Marisa Tomei.
Milena Privitera, of the Taormina Film Festival press office, issued the following statement Thursday: “He was due to arrive tomorrow and hold a workshop, one of our ‘Power Classes’ with other stars on Saturday 22nd of June. In the evening, he was going to be awarded a prize at the Teatro Antico di Taormina closing ceremony. We will now be holding a tribute in memory of the star.”
NBC News reports that his son called for help after discovering his father collapsed in their hotel-room bathroom. Hotel staff tried to resuscitate him, and the actor was still alive when taken into an ambulance, said NBC, although he was later pronounced dead at the Policlinico Umberto I hospital. His sister was also said to be with him.
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• Edie Falco Remembers James Gandolfini’s ‘Tremendous Depth and Sensitivity’
• Remembering James Gandolfini: Famous Fans Mourn the Actor Online
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