Late "Sopranos" star James Gandolfini starred in the pilot for a new HBO show called "Criminal Justice," but if it ever airs, you won't see his face.
HBO president Michael Lombardo said Thursday, "We'd never air the pilot with James in it."
"Jim's passing took the wind out of our sails quite a bit," Lombardo continued. The conversations they've had with Steven Zaillian and Richard Price, the director and writer of the seven-episode limited series, have been about recasting the role Gandolfini played -- a New York City attorney defending an accused murderer of Pakistani descent.
"That [pilot] was just the beginning of the journey," Lombardo noted. "The conversation would be about reshooting the portion Jim had already performed in and recasting going forward."
"Criminal Justice" is still in development at HBO and scripts are being written, but no air date has been announced.
The show was just one of many projects Gandolfini had in the pipeline with HBO, the channel that made him famous. “He was worried people would be sick of seeing him on HBO,” his friend and colleague, Patrick Healy, told Entertainment Weekly shortly after Gandolfini's death.
Immediately after his passing, a source close to “Criminal Justice” told The Huffington Post that “it’s too early to discuss” the fate of the show. At the time, Zaillian wouldn't comment either, but in a statement to The Huffington Post, he called Gandolfini “a real man ... honest, humble, loyal, complicated, as grateful for his success as he was unaffected by it.”
The HBO movie “Bone Wars" was set to star Gandolfini and Steve Carrell as Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, famous paleontologists who became rivals after the Civil War. HBO hasn’t commented publicly on the fate of the film.
“Eating With The Enemy,” another Gandolfini-led HBO film with an uncertain future, had the late actor starring as a New Jersey restaurateur with Don Quixote-ish delusions of grandeur. Healey, who is writing the script, told EW, “I can’t imagine anyone better than Jim.”