The Comedian (2016 film)

The Comedian

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Taylor Hackford
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Art Linson
Music by Terence Blanchard
Cinematography Oliver Stapleton
Edited by Mark Warner
  • Cinelou Films
  • Linson Entertainment
  • Anvil Films
  • The Fyzz Facility
  • Mad Riot Entertainment
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
Release dates
  • November 11, 2016 (2016-11-11) (AFI Fest)
  • December 2, 2016 (2016-12-02) (United States)
Running time
119 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Comedian is a 2016 American comedy-drama film directed by Taylor Hackford and written by Lewis Friedman, Richard LaGravenese, Art Linson, and Jeff Ross. The film stars Robert De Niro, Leslie Mann, Danny DeVito, Edie Falco, Veronica Ferres, Charles Grodin, Cloris Leachman, Patti LuPone, and Harvey Keitel.

The film had its world premiere at the AFI Fest on November 11, 2016. It is scheduled to be released in a limited release on December 2, 2016, before opening wide on January 13, 2017, by Sony Pictures Classics.



On May 20, 2011, Showbiz411's Roger Friedman revealed that producer-screenwriter Art Linson had written a stand-up comedy script titled The Comedian with the help of comedian Jeff Ross, which would star Robert De Niro. Martin Scorsese was expected to direct the film.[1] Later the same year, Sean Penn came on board to direct the film, with Kristen Wiig starring along with De Niro.[2][3] FilmNation Entertainment was attached to handle the international sales for the film, which would be produced by John Linson, Jon Kilik, and De Niro.[3]

On May 20, 2015, Mike Newell was hired to direct the film based on the script by Art Linson, while the stand-up material was written by Jeff Ross, and Robert De Niro was attached to play the titular role.[4] On July 7, 2015, it was announced that Taylor Hackford had come on board to direct the film replacing the previously attached Newell, who left due to scheduling conflicts.[5] Linson and John Linson would produce the film along with Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon through Cinelou Films, which would also finance the film.[5] On November 16, 2015, Jennifer Aniston joined the comedy film to star along with De Niro.[6] On January 19, 2016, Leslie Mann joined the film to replace Aniston, playing a woman who befriends the stand-up comic.[7] Danny DeVito was also spotted on the set along with De Niro, but his casting was not confirmed. On February 26, 2016, Veronica Ferres was cast in the film to play a wedding planner who plans the wedding of the De Niro's character's daughter.[8]

Principal photography on the film began on February 21, 2016 in New York City,[9][10] and other locations include Manhattan.[11]


In October 2016, Sony Pictures Classics acquired U.S distribution rights to the film, with plans to release the film in December, in order to qualify for awards.[12] The film had its world premiere at the AFI Fest on November 11, 2016.[13] It is scheduled to be released in a limited release on December 2, 2016, before opening wide on January 13, 2017.[14][15]

Critical response

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 17%, based on 12 reviews, with an average rating of 4.2/10.[16] On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 46 out of 100, based on 9 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[17]


Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Hollywood Film Awards Hollywood Comedy Award Robert De Niro Won [18]


  1. Friedman, Roger (May 20, 2011). "Scorsese Could Wind Up Directing DeNiro Again in "The Comedian"". Showbiz411. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  2. Jagernauth, Kevin (June 15, 2011). "Sean Penn To Direct Robert De Niro In 'The Comedian'?". Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  3. 1 2 Fleming Jr, Mike (October 27, 2011). "AFM: Sean Penn To Direct 'The Comedian' With Robert De Niro, Kristen Wiig". Deadline. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  4. McNary, Dave (May 20, 2015). "Robert De Niro's 'The Comedian' Taps Mike Newell to Direct". Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  5. 1 2 Fleming Jr, Mike (July 7, 2015). "Taylor Hackford Stands Up To Direct Robert De Niro In His Passion Project 'The Comedian'". Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  6. Fleming Jr, Mike (November 16, 2015). "Jennifer Aniston To Star With Robert De Niro In 'The Comedian'". Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  7. McNary, Dave (January 19, 2016). "Leslie Mann Replaces Jennifer Aniston in Robert De Niro's 'The Comedian'". Variety. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  8. Ford, Rebecca (February 26, 2016). "Robert De Niro's 'The Comedian' Adds German Actress Veronica Ferres (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  9. "On the Set for 2/26/16: Dwayne Johnson & Zac Efron Start Shooting 'Baywatch', Peter Dinklage & Julia Ormond Wrap 'Rememory'". SSN Insider. February 26, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  10. "Robert De Niro and Danny Devito appear in high spirits as they arrive on the set of new movie The Comedian in New York". Daily Mail. February 23, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  11. "'The Comedian', starring Robert De Niro, filming underway in New York City". OLV. March 9, 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  12. Fleming Jr, Mike (October 5, 2016). "Add Robert De Niro To Oscar Short List; Sony Classics Lands 'The Comedian'". Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  13. McNary, Dave (October 14, 2016). "Robert De Niro's 'The Comedian' to Premiere at AFI Fest". Variety. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  14. McGovern, Joe (November 21, 2016). "The Comedian trailer: Robert De Niro yuks it up as a broken-down insult comic". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  15. Cabin, Chris (November 21, 2016). "'The Comedian' Trailer Finds Robert De Niro Being Funny or Something". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  16. "The Comedian (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  17. "The Comedian". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  18. "Robert De Niro to Be Honored With Hollywood Comedy Award". Hollywood Film Awards. October 31, 2016. Retrieved November 2, 2016.

External links

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