This just goes to show, the industry is all about making connections. Hence, how standup comic Sebastian Maniscalco managed to get Robert De Niro to co-star in the upcoming film loosely based on his life, after Maniscalco only briefly worked with De Niro in The Irishman a couple years ago.
De Niro's casting was announced today for About My Father with De Niro set to play Maniscalco's dad, Salvo. Based on a script that Maniscalco co-wrote with Austen Earl, the story will see Sebastian (as a version of himself) telling his old-school Italian immigrant dad of his plans to propose to his all-American girlfriend. This prompts Salvo to insist on crashing a weekend with her parents. Nathan Kahane, president of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group who will distribute the film, confirmed production on the film will begin later in 2021 and released the following statement:
"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? 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.”
About My Father will be directed Laura Terruso. Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz, and Andrew Miano will serve as producers throguh their company Depth of Field. Chris Weitz released a statement as well, saying "We’ve been fans of Laura’s for a while. Like Sebastian, her parents are Italian immigrants and she locked into this story.” Judi Marmel will serve as an executive producer while James Myers and Chelsea Kujawa are overseeing production for Lionsgate. Phil Strina negotiated the deal on behalf of the studio. Stay tuned!