De Niro Takes Over Gandolfini's Role In TV series
Robert De Niro is to take over the role James Gandolfini was working on before he died, US network HBO has announced.
The late Sopranos actor had filmed a pilot episode of the TV mini-series Criminal Justice before his sudden death in June, aged 51.
For months the future of the series had been in doubt but now Oscar winner De Niro, who rarely takes on television roles, has been cast as the ambulance-chasing New York lawyer.
Gandolfini will receive a posthumous executive producer credit.
Based on the 2008 BBC series of the same name, De Niro's character, Jack Stone, gets involved in the case of a young Pakistani man, played by Brit actor Riz Ahmed, who is accused of murdering a girl on New York's Upper West Side.
It has not been confirmed when the series will be broadcast but production is expected to begin in March.
The seven-part US series will have a different format to the British version, in which each episode featured a different case and individual on trial.
The creator of the BBC show, Stephen Moffat, will be one of the executive producers on the US version.
Criminal Justice was one of Gandolfini's last projects before he died. His final film, the romantic comedy Enough Said, is due for UK release in October.
It was Gandolfini's role as therapy-seeking mob boss Tony Soprano which made him a global star and won him three Emmy Awards.
When The Sopranos ended in 2007 after eight years, Gandolfini went on star in films including Zero Dark Thirty and In The Loop.
He died after suffering a cardiac arrest while on holiday in Rome with his 13-year-old son.