Movie Reviews

Robert De Niros Dual Role In Upcoming Gangster Movie Has 1 Major Scorsese Connection

Summary

  • De Niro’s next major movie role is in “Alto Knights”, which also stars Shōgun’s Cosmo Jarvis.
  • “Alto Knights” will feature De Niro in a dual role as Italian mob bosses, promising a standout performance.
  • The film’s director, Barry Levinson, and screenwriter, Nicholas Pileggi, add to the high expectations for “Alto Knights.”



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Robert De Niro‘s next dramatic movie role has a major connection to two of Scorsese’s greatest gangster hits. Since starring as William Hale in 2023’s Killers of the Flower Moon alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone, a role which he received his ninth Academy Award nomination for, De Niro has appeared in 2023’s comedy About My Father. He is also slated to star in the comedy-drama Ezra alongside Bobby Cannavale, Vera Farmiga, and Rose Byrne, which is expected to get a wide release on May 31, 2024 after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September 2023.


De Niro has been a staple of some of the greatest gangster movies ever made, beginning with his lead role in Martin Scorsese’s breakout movie Mean Streets (1973). He also won an Academy Award-winning performance as Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974) before starring in two of the greatest mob movies of all time, Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995). Most of De Niro’s most celebrated works, particularly in the gangster genre, have been collaborations with Scorsese, with 2019’s The Irishman being the most recent. De Niro’s next gangster movie will not be directed by Scorsese, but does have one common link to the acclaimed director.

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De Niro Will Play Two Rival Italian American Gangsters In Barry Levinson’s Alto Knights

Levinson and De Niro last teamed up for 2017’s The Wizard of Lies

De Niro will play not one, but two, different Italian mob bosses in Alto Knights who are based on real-life mafia rivals, Vito Genovese and Frank Costello.

De Niro will star in the upcoming gangster movie Alto Knights, which is set to be released on March 21, 2025. De Niro will play not one, but two, different Italian mob bosses in the film who are based on real-life mafia rivals, Vito Genovese and Frank Costello. Jack Nicholson previously portrayed Frank Costello in Scorsese’s Academy Award-winning film The Departed (2006), but drew inspiration from Joseph “Whitey” Bulger Jr., the infamous Irish mob boss out of Boston. The real-life Frank Costello was an Italian American crime lord of the Luciano family who lived and operated in New York City.


Alto Knights is directed by Barry Levinson, the Academy Award-winning director of Rain Man (1988), The Natural (1984), Sleepers (1996), and Good Morning, Vietnam (1987). Levinson and De Niro last teamed up for the 2017 HBO original film The Wizard of Lies in which De Niro portrayed white collar criminal Bernie Madoff. Alto Knights was originally slated for a February 2, 2024 release but was delayed multiple times due to the WGA and SAG strikes of 2023. The film was initially titled Wise Guys but was changed Alto Knights after production was completed in October 2023. The film will be distributed by Warner Bros.

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Alto Knights Is Written By The Same Writer As Scorsese’s Casino & Goodfellas

Nicholas Pileggi is a prolific screenwriter of the mafia/gangster genre

Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci and Rober DeNiro looking in a bag in Goodfellas


Alto Knights is Pileggi’s first feature film screenplay in nearly 20 years.

Outside of Levinson’s directing and De Niro’s double role, the most promising aspect of Alto Knights is its screenwriter, Nicholas Pileggi, who wrote the scripts for Casino and Goodfellas. Pileggi has a firm grasp of the realities of the underground crime world in New York City during the 1950s, having worked as a journalist for the Associated Press and specializing in the crime beat. Pileggi wrote the screenplay “Wiseguy” in 1986 based on his book of the same name that would become the Academy Award-winng film Goodfellas, which is widely considered one of the greatest mob movies ever made.


Pileggi then wrote the original screenplay for Casino, starring De Niro as Sam ‘Ace’ Rothestein, a ruthless casino executive in Las Vegas. Casino earned an Oscar nomination for lead actress Sharon Stone, while Goodfellas took home the Best Actor Oscar for Joe Pesci after being nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Pileggi also co-wrote the screenplay for City Hall (1996), a political thriller starring Pesci and John Cusack. His most recent writing project was the CBS series Vegas (2012–2013) starring Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis. Alto Knights is Pileggi’s first feature film screenplay in nearly 20 years.

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Alto Knights Could Be The Best Gangster Movie Of De Niro’s Career

There are more than enough ingredients to set the bar very high

Frank in a retirement home in The Irishman


De Niro will be joined by Cosmo Jarvis, the breakout star of the critically acclaimed series
Shōgun.

With Killers of the Flower Moon, Robert De Niro proved that his best performances are certainly not behind him. His dual role as two Italian mob bosses in Alto Knights could result in the most impressive gangster movie of his career. There are more than enough ingredients to set the bar very high for Alto Knights aside from its outstanding director and legendary screenwriter. De Niro will be joined by Cosmo Jarvis, whose breakout role as John Blackthorne in Shōgun has made him one of Hollywood’s most sought after rising actors. Alto Knights was also shot by Dante Spinotti (Heat, The Insider, L.A. Confidential) and has a musical score by David Fleming (Dune: Part Two, The Last of Us).


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