Pacino & De Niro: together again

It’s the first time they’ve properly shared the screen since 1995’s Heat, so if you’ve been slavering to see shouty Al Pacino and growly Bob De Niro in the same film since then, prepare to have all your birthdays arrive at once.

They’ve both signed on the dotted to play NYPD investigators in Jon Avnet’s new thriller Righteous Kill. The plot finds the police pair hunting down a serial killer in the city.

And it’s not the massive blockbuster you might expect given the starring pair – Kill will actually be funded independently, with $60 million in the budget and a script by Russell “Inside Man” Gerwitz.

"You see those two icons onscreen together for virtually the whole film," executive producer Avi Lerner excitedly told The Hollywood Reporter in Cannes, "something never seen before in the history of cinema. It's one of the hardest deals we've ever done to put these two actors together."

He also poured scorn on the idea of producing the movie as a big studio release. "If this were a studio film, it would cost $120 million," he said. "We believe the independent film world makes films more efficiently, more cost effectively and with more heart. A studio would read it and set up a committee about the script, the director... a committee about the committee."

Yeah, we’d agree that this all sounds like a wonderful idea, if not for one tiny thing. The last time Jon Avnet directed Al Pacino, the film was called 88 Minutes. Heard of it recently? That’s because it sank straight to DVD…

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