It’s been a grip since Robert De Niro last hopped over into the world of TV; outside of the occasional cameo (usually as himself), De Niro’s only major expedition on the small screen came in 2017, with HBO’s The Wizard Of Lies, where he played professional Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff for his old pal Barry Levinson.
Now, it sounds like De Niro’s coming back, this time to the world of streaming television, as Variety reports that he’s set to star in Zero Day, a new political thriller slated to appear on Netflix. Details about the plot of the series are being kept under wraps, but De Niro will apparently play a former U.S. president who somehow gets wrapped up in the limited series’ political shenanigans.
Zero Day is being developed for Netflix by Eric Newman—a long-time Netflix compatriot whose credits include Narcos and the recent Ryan Murphy series The Watcher—as well as, weirdly, Noah Oppenheim, the current president of NBC News. Oppenheim previously wrote the script for Natalie Portman’s biopoic Jackie, and co-wrote both The Maze Runner and The Divergent Series: Allegiant, adding up to what we can’t help but note is a damn weird career—even before you get into the whole “Ronan Farrow accused him of killing NBC’s coverage of the Harvey Weinstein allegations” stuff. (Oppenheim denied that particular credit.) Oppenheim and Newman are working on Zero Day with Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael S. Schmidt, whose coverage has included the Hilary Clinton email story from the lead-up to the 2016 election, as well as the news stories about Donald Trump and former FBI head James Comey that eventually led to the creation of the Mueller Report.
All of which is to say that De Niro’s project will come by its political focus honestly—while also, we can only assume, capturing some of the electric political magic for which The Maze Runner and Allegiant were so famously known.