James Gandolfini is returning to familiar territory: starring in an HBO production as a guy from New Jersey. Deadline reports that The Sopranos alum (and New Jersey native) is attached to star in an HBO Films adaptation of Robert Egan and Kurt Pitzer’s based-on-true-accounts book Eating with the Enemy (subtitled How I Waged Peace with North Korea from My BBQ Shack in Hackensack). Per the report, Gandolfini will play Egan, a rib joint owner who befriended members of the North Korean consulate in the mid 1990s and, after traveling to the country on four occasions, became “a helpful conduit in backdoor nuke talks.” Those must have been really good ribs.
For more on the project, hit the jump for a synopsis of Egan and Pitzer’s book.
Here is a synopsis for Eating with the Enemy [from Amazon]:
In Pyongyang in 1994, Robert Egan was given Sodium Pentathol, or “truth serum,” by North Korean agents trying to determine his real identity. What was he doing in the world’s most isolated nation—while the U.S. government recoiled at its human-rights record and its quest for dangerous nukes? Why had he befriended one of North Korea’s top envoys to the United Nations? What was Egan after? Fast-paced and often astounding, Eating with the Enemy is the tale of a restless restaurant owner from a mobbed-up New Jersey town who for thirteen years inserted himself into the high-stakes diplomatic battles between the United States and North Korea.