James Gandolfini to Star in HBO Project

james gandolfini

According to Deadline.com, HBO Films has optioned the rights to the book Eating with the Enemy: How I Waged Peace with North Korea from My BBQ Shack in Hackensack, written by Robert Egan and Kurt Pitzer. James Gandolfini is reportedly attached to star as Bobby Egan, the owner of a barbeque restaurant in Hackensack, New Jersey, who also served as an “unofficial ambassador” for the government of North Korea.

The publisher’s book description details that Egan’s convictions on the issue of Vietnam-era POW/MIAs led him to an introduction to North Korean officials looking to improve relations with the United States. All in the name of peace, Egan forms a friendship with Han Song-ryol, the North Korean U.N. ambassador. And as Deadline.com states, Egan would come to make four visits to North Korea and be “a helpful conduit in backdoor nuke talks.” Between quasi-informing for the FBI and hosting the North Koreans in the U.S., Egan became a notable, yet controversial, figure in the relations between North Korea and the United States during the 1990s. Eventually, Han and the North Korean consulate were called back to Pyongyang, putting an end to Egan’s position as self-proclaimed international liaison.

This project will be executive produced by Tribeca Productions and Gandolfini’s Atta Boy Productions, along with Mark Armstrong, Nancy Sanders, Jane Rosenthal, Brandon Brito and Megan Lyvers. Pitzer and Kimberly Levin will be co-producers.