First Trailer For The Comedian Sees Robert De Niro Switch Gears Into Dark Comedy

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Throughout his decorated screen career, Robert De Niro has played many a role. From Raging Bull all the way down to Dirty Grandpa, for better or worse, few actors can claim to have starred in such a wide spectrum of movies as De Niro. Gauging the actor’s upcoming slate can be a difficult task, then; for every feel-good drama in the vein of The Intern, there’s The Family, a cinematic dud that attempted to tap into Robert De Niro’s history in the gangster genre and flip expectations on their head, only to come up short.

Come January 13, Robert De Niro will be back in theaters for The Comedian, a dark comedy hailing from director Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman, Ray). A passion project for the actor from the off, Entertainment Weekly has today unveiled the first full trailer, one which finds the acting legend in the part of Jackie, a washed-up comic icon who struggles to free himself from the shackles of that one role audiences identify him by.

Also starring Leslie Mann, Edie Falco, Harvey Keitel and Danny DeVito, in tandem with the trailer reveal, Hackford offered up some insight into the film’s creative process to EW: “I saw the movie as a dark drama with some comedy, but then we tested it with an audience, and they really laughed hard. So better to call it a dark comedy with drama.”

Robert De Niro will hope to become the new King of Comedy when Taylor Hackford’s ensemble drama opens on January 13. Select theaters across New York and LA will be screening The Comedian on December 2, putting the picture in contention for this year’s awards race.

An aging comic icon, Jackie (Robert De Niro), has seen better days. Despite his efforts to reinvent himself and his comic genius, the audience only wants to know him as the former television character he once played. Already a strain on his younger brother (Danny DeVito) and his wife (Patti LuPone), Jackie is forced to serve out a sentence doing community service for accosting an audience member. While there, he meets Harmony (Leslie Mann), the daughter of a sleazy Florida real estate mogul (Harvey Keitel), and the two find inspiration in one another, resulting in surprising consequences.

Source: EW