Sean Penn has come aboard to direct The Comedian, which will star Robert De Niro. Producer Art Linson and comedian Jeffrey Ross co-wrote the screenplay.

Little is known about the story, except that Robert De Niro will play an aging, bitter stand-up comedian. There were unconfirmed reports out of Cannes this year that Martin Scorsese was circling the project, rumors which turned out to be false.

Sean Penn's last directorial effort was the 2007 drama Into the Wild. He has also directed The Pledge, The Crossing Guard, and The Indian Runner.

Production is scheduled to begin next year in New York City, although it isn't known if this project is set up at a studio or not.