Sean Penn Makes a 'Comedian' Out of De Niro

[caption id="attachment_22350" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Getty Images"]Robert De Niro[/caption]

Robert De Niro is funny? Funny how? Funny as in he makes you laugh?

That's probably how De Niro's "Goodfellas" pal Joe Pesci reacted to the news that the "Killer Elite" star will be playing a washed-up comedian in the appropriately-titled "The Comedian," according to Variety.

It ends up that Sean Penn and not Martin Scorsese will be directing the indie drama about a diwn-and-out comic clinging to any recognition of his former fame in the hope of reviving his now-stagnant career. After being sentenced to community service for hitting an audience member, he meets a woman (Kristin Wiig) who turns his life upside-down.

De Niro and Wiig making the funny together? This we have to see...

"The Comedian" could be seen as an unofficial sequel of sorts to Martin Scorsese's "The King of Comedy," which starred De Niro as an up-and-coming comic who kidnaps a famous veteran comedian, played by Jerry Lewis. It also serves as a more than 22-year reunion for Penn and De Niro, who starred together in 1989's "We're No Angels."

Sean Penn is currently shooting his role as gangster Mickey Cohen in the crime drama, "Gangster Squad," which will hit theaters on Oct. 19, 2012. Robert De Niro will next be seen in director Garry Marshall's latest ensemble romantic comedy, "New Year's Eve," which opens kind of early on Dec. 9. And Kristin Wiig just wrapped "Imogene" and will next be seen in "Friends with Kids," which is still looking for a proper release date.

"The Comedian" is set to begin production in the spring.