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HBO James Gandolfini Pilot ‘Criminal Justice’ To Recast, ‘Transporter’ Dead At Cinemax

HBO James Gandolfini Criminal Justice Recast Transporter
Cinemax / Angela Weiss, Getty Images

Once the initial shock of ‘Sopranos‘ star James Gandolfini‘s tragic passing had set in, questions turned to HBO’s upcoming limited series ‘Criminal Justice,’ whose shot pilot had initially been passed on before the network opted for a smaller order. Now, as HBO speaks at the TCA press tour, Gandolfini’s version of the pilot will most likely be re-shot, while other projects from the network will never see the light of day.

Adapted from an award-winning 2008 BBC series, the Americanized ‘Criminal Justice’ was to feature Gandolfini as Jack Stone, a “downtrodden jailhouse attorney who frequents police stations for clients.” In his search, the character encounters Naz (Rizwan Ahmed), an American-born Pakistani with no memory of his accused crime of stabbing to death a young woman he’d met.

“We’d never air the pilot with James in it,” said HBO president Michael Lombardo of the series’ future. “Jim’s passing took the wind out of our sails quite a bit. That [pilot] was just the beginning of the journey. The conversation would be about re-shooting the portion Jim had already performed in and recasting going forward.”

Having shot this November, the pilot also co-stars Bill Camp as Box, Peyman Moadi as Salim Kahn and Poorna Jagannathan as Safar Kahn, Naz’s parents. ‘Schindler’s List’ Oscar-winning writer Steven Zaillian both directed and co-wrote the pilot, with Oscar-nominee Richard Price.

Elsewhere among the many discussions, HBO revealed that Cinemax has opted not to move forward with the ‘Transporter‘ TV series starring Chris Vance, despite having produced a trailer for a supposed October 2012 debut. Furthermore, the final episodes of New Orleans drama ‘Treme‘ will begin airing on December 1.

Well, what say you? Would you still want to see James Gandolfini’s ‘Criminal Justice,’ even if the role ends up recast? What about ‘Transporter,’ or the network’s other discarded fare?

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