Michael Imperioli, the actor who got shot a lot by Joe Pesci in Goodfellas and smothered a lot by James Gandolfini in The Sopranos, has been tapped for ABC’s American remake of the beloved British television show Life on Mars. The show is about a modern day police officer (played in the original by the great UK actor John Simm) who gets in a modern day car accident that somehow teleports him to the not modern day 1970s. Once there, the confused teleport victim continues detecting and policing…but dressed in much louder atire.
The remake was being spearheaded by prolific TV puppet master David E. Kelley, but he has since left the project. It’s now in the hands of the people that brought us (gulp!) October Road and (yes!) She Spies. A pilot was shot, apparently disliked immensely by ABC, and is now being reshot. Much of the cast is being replaced, but the show’s lead (Men in Trees vet Jason O’Mara) still has his job. Colm Meaney, who played second banana to the time-traveling lead in pilot, looks to be a goner. Which upsets this Colm Meaney fan.
Imperioli’s hiring is the first major recasting move, and it brings a little excitement to this topsy-turvy ordeal. The ex-Christopher Moltisanti will play a racist and homophobic detective who butts heads with the time cop. Imperioli has just wrapped shooting Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones. He also plays a detective in that, but one who is loving and kind and not so much racist and homophobic.