Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are teaming to play New York police investigators hunting a serial killer in Jon Avnet's $60 million thriller Righteous Kill for Avi Lerner's Millennium Films and Emmett/Furla Films.
The independently financed feature written by Russell Gewirtz (Inside Man, the upcoming Labyrinth) unites the longtime friends on screen for some 90% of the film -- unlike their one shared scene in Michael Mann's Heat and no shared scenes in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather Part II.
"You see those two icons onscreen together for virtually the whole film," Lerner said at his Festival de Cannes offices.
"(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."
Lerner and Randall Emmett closed negotiations on the CAA-packaged project late Thursday morning during the festival.
Emmett said the actors had long been seeking a project on which to work together and that he acted as a catalyst to get the duo together. Lerner talked to producer Art Linson and De Niro, now filming the Warner Bros. Hollywood comedy What Just Happened? to help move the new project along.
Righteous Kill begins a two-month shoot in Connecticut and New York on Aug. 6, taking advantage of each state's tax incentive programs.