Robert De Niro Going Back To His Gangster Roots For Luc Besson's 'Malavita'

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Andreas Rentz/Vittorio Zunino Celotto, Getty Images

Luc Besson’s dedicated fans would love to see the director get back to his prime for crime thrillers like ‘La Femme Nikita’ or ‘Leon: The Professional.’ Robert De Niro’s supporters likely would love to see him get back to his gangster roots for another film in the mold of ‘Goodfellas’ or ‘Casino.’ One new project could kill two birds with one stone.

Besson reportedly will direct the gangster thriller ‘Malavita,’ with De Niro in the lead role, according to The Playlist. The one-time ‘Raging Bull’ would play a former criminal living in Normandy whose family is safely planted in the Witness Protection program who might have to come out of hiding when things take a turn for the worse.

Besson’s film would be based on the book ‘Badfellas,’ by Tonino Benacquista, which several reviewers compared to something like ‘The Sopranos.’ Which sounds great, though there’s reportedly a scene in the story where De Niro’s character hosts a screening of Martin Scorsese’s ‘Goodfellas’ which might be a little too Meta for our tastes.

I still think this could be an excellent project for both Besson and De Niro, though it also sounds a lot like ‘Lilyhammer,’ the Netflix series that stars ‘Sopranos’ veteran Steve Van Zandt as an ex-mobster hiding out in Central Europe. Even if this is similar, though, there’s enough material here for De Niro and Besson to explore, so let’s see what they come up with.

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