Deadline: It will be Taylor Hackford who directs Robert De Niro in his passion project The Comedian, the Art Linson-scripted drama that the Oscar-winning actor has been sweet on for years. Mike Newell recently signed on when the film got its financing together, but he exited due to scheduling. The plan is to still shoot in mid-January in New York. Linson will produce the film along with Cinelou’s Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon. Cinelou, which funded the Jennifer Aniston-starrer Cake, is financing the picture. Casting is underway.