James Gandolfini Plots TV Return With HBO's 'Criminal Justice'
James Gandolfini will likely return to HBO with his next small-screen gig. The Tony Soprano of "The Sopranos" has snatched a role on "Criminal Justice", which has been given a pilot order by the premium cable channel.
The crime drama is loosely based on the 2008 BBC series of the same title created by Peter Moffat which won BAFTA Awards. The original show consists of two five-episode seasons, with each season featuring a new cast and a new story.
The upcoming adaptation will pick up the plot of the first installment, where Ben Whishaw starred as Ben Coulter, a guy who finds himself charged with the murder of a woman whom he just met a night before she's found dead.
The new version will feature an American-born Pakistani named Naz, who will be portrayed by Rizwan Ahmed. Gandolfini will portray Jack Stone, a downtrodden lawyer who frequently visits police precincts to look for clients. There, he meets Naz and appoints himself counsel for the unlucky young man.
Joining the cast ensemble are Bill Camp as Box (the lead detective on the case), as well as Peyman Moadi and Poorna Jagannathan as Salim Kahn and Safar Kahn respectively (Naz's parents). Steven Zaillian will direct the pilot and team up with Richard Price to write the script. The duo will additionally executive produce the project with Gandolfini, Moffat, Jane Tranter, Nancy Sanders and Mark Armstrong.
Gandolfini is expected to keep starring on the show should it continue for multiple seasons. The gig will mark the Emmy-winning actor's regular TV role since HBO canceled "The Sopranos" in 2007. The 51-year-old, however, returned to the network in 2011 with TV movie "Cinema Verite".
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