Robert De Niro will star in the Warner Bros. mob drama Wise Guys from director Barry Levinson, Deadline can confirm. The project reunites the duo following their collaborations on the Emmy-nominated HBO TV movie The Wizard of Lies, which had De Niro playing Bernie Madoff, and Magnolia Pictures’ 2008 dramedy, What Just Happened.
The period piece tells the story of Vito Genovese and Frank Costello, a pair of Italian Americans running two separate crime families during the mid-20th century. Genovese tried and failed to assassinate Costello in 1957, though the latter wound up taking his leave from the mob. We hear that De Niro will be taking on both key roles in the film eyed for release in theaters.
Oscar-nominated Goodfellas scribe Nicholas Pileggi penned the script—and though he also wrote the 1985 book Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family on which Martin Scorsese’s aforementioned De Niro starrer is based, the classic film has no relation to Levinson’s. The Rocky franchise’s Irwin Winkler has boarded the project as a producer.