Robert De Niro takes over James Gandolfini's "Criminal Justice" role

At left, actor Robert De Niro attends the grand opening of the Nobu Hotel Restaurant and Lounge Caesars Palace on April 28, 2013, in Las Vegas. At right, actor James Gandolfini attends "Which Way Is The Frontline From Here?" New York premiere on April 10, 2013, in New York.
Ethan Miller/Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

HBO says Robert De Niro will step into a project that was thrown into question by the death of James Gandolfini.

The network said Wednesday that De Niro is taking on the role of a New York City attorney handling a murder case in the miniseries "Criminal Justice."

Gandolfini had played the attorney in the pilot episode. The star of "The Sopranos" died in June at age 51 after suffering a heart attack. Edie Falco, who played his wife, Carmela, on "The Sopranos," paid tribute to Gandolfini during a segment at last Sunday's Primetime Emmy Awards.

"Criminal Justice" was one of Gandolfini's last projects. He starred in the comedy "Enough Said," which is now in theaters and received strong critical acclaim. Another one of his final projects, "Animal Rescue," opens in 2014.

An air date for "Criminal Justice" hasn't been announced.