John Leguizamo has flagged down his next role…
The 50-year-old Colombian actor has been cast as the lead in CBS’ Taxi-22, a single-camera comedy project that had been shepherded by the late James Gandolfini.
Based on the hit French Canadian comedy, Taxi-22 centers on a politically incorrect NYC cab driver (Leguizamo). In addition to starring, he’ll also co-executive produce the project.
Written/executive produced by Tad Quill, CBS’ Taxi-22 adaptation originally was ordered to pilot in January 2014. After difficulties casting the lead in a competitive pilot casting marketplace, CBS pushed the project. The network and CBS Television Studios, which produces the project, explored several casting choices in the off-season and made it clear that the pilot remained a priority.
CBS bought the project, with Gandolfini on board to executive produce, just two weeks before the Emmy-winning actor’s tragic death in June 2013.
Taxi-22 had been a passion project for Gandolfini, who first developed it at HBO. The project went through three incarnations at the pay cable network with different writers and Gandolfini loosely attached to play the lead at one point.
Gandolfini is getting a posthumous exec producer credit on the pilot and potential first season of the series.
Leguizamo recently completed the films The Nest with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler; Stealing Cars; and The Experimenters, which will premiere at the Sundance film festival.
Currently, he’s playing his one-man show, Latin History For Dummies, around the country.