When James Gandolfini's life was tragically cut short in Rome, Italy, on June 19, the fates of several of the actor's projects -- for film and TV -- suddenly became less clear.
Gandolfini, who was 51 at the time of his passing, reportedly as a result of a heart attack, had two projects in the works at HBO, reports Deadline: a movie called "Bone Wars," in which the late actor and Steve Carell were slated to co-star as paleontologists, and the seven-part series "Criminal Justice," about an ambulance-chasing NYC attorney, played by Gandolfini. It's not yet clear what will happen with either project, considering "Bone Wars" didn't yet have a script and filming for "Criminal Justice" hadn't progressed beyond the pilot.
"Criminal Justice" director Steven Zaillian remembers Gandolfini as "a real man, like they don't make anymore: honest, humble, loyal, complicated, as grateful for his success as he was unaffected by it, as respectful as he was respected, as generous as he was gifted."
The late actor was also involved with a potential HBO drama adaptation of Nicholas Johnson's memoir "Big Dead Place" (about living and working in Antarctica) and HBO Films' "Eating With the Enemy," in which Gandolfini would have returned to his "Sopranos" stomping grounds as Bobby Egan, a real-life New Jersey rib joint owner who became involved in nuclear weapons negotiations with North Korea.
Over at CBS, Gandolfini was executive producing "Taxi-22," a comedy that had received a script commitment from the network. With the project still in development, fellow executive producer Clark Peterson says, "We are devastated. He was a great man and a unique embodiment of creativity, humanity, and humility."
Although his career has come to an end far too soon, Gandolfini's larger-than-life presence will command the big screen once more in 2014, when his final two movies arrive in theaters: "Enough Said," co-starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Catherine Keener, and "Animal Rescue," also starring Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace.