June 20th, 2013
12:00 PM ET
When he died at 51 on Wednesday, James Gandolfini hadn't been a weekly fixture on our television screens for six years. But he was still very much a working actor.
In his passing, Gandolfini's left behind a number of projects, including an HBO limited series called "Criminal Justice."
The network picked up the seven-part drama in May, and according to Deadline it was to star Gandolfini as a disheveled, ambulance-chasing lawyer who takes on an overwhelming case involving a Pakistani accused of killing an Upper West Side girl.
Taking inspiration from Peter Moffat's 2008 BBC miniseries of the same name, "Criminal Justice" has Steven Zaillian directing from a script written with Richard Price. HBO has indicated that it's still too early to tell what will become of the New York-set series, which has thus far only filmed a pilot.
On the movie side, Gandolfini's legacy will continue in two films that he unfortunately didn't live to see released. According to the Los Angeles Times, the actor will appear in an upcoming Nicole Holofcener ("Friends with Money") project as a loving, gentle TV archivist whom Julia Louis-Dreyfus' character falls for.
Louis-Dreyfus, an HBO star in her own right with the comedy "Veep," tweeted Wednesday, "My heart goes out to the Gandolfini family. ... RIP Jim Gandolfini. It was an honor to work with you. U were a supreme actor & the sweetest & kindest man. U are missed."
The director of Gandolfini's other upcoming film, "Animal Rescue," had similar praises. The crime drama, which includes a pit bull rescue, a love story and a scam, stars Tom Hardy as a Brooklyn bartender who gets caught up with some Chechen thugs. Gandolfini, in the last film role he shot, portrays a mentor of sorts as the owner of the bar where Hardy's character works.
In a statement to Variety, "Animal Rescue" director Michaël Roskam remembered Gandolfini's immense talent.
“It was such an honor to work with Mr. Gandolfini and nothing but a pleasure to see him perform. He was one of the greatest," he said. "I wanted to make him proud with the movie we made together and now it will be in his loving memory."
"Animal Rescue" is expected to arrive next year.
About this blog
Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.