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Zero Day - What We Know So Far

Robert De Niro's filmography is the stuff of legend, but it's been rare to see the actor pop up in a TV property. Even as the Golden Age of TV has swarmed the world, De Niro has mostly cold-shouldered television. That's about to change as the "Taxi Driver" star is set to appear in a Netflix miniseries titled "Zero Day." 

De Niro's filmography is not entirely devoid of television as he did earn Emmy nominations for outstanding lead actor in a miniseries and outstanding television movie for starring in and helping to produce 2017's "Wizard of Lies," in which the actor portrayed the infamous Bernie Madoff. As a producer, De Niro has also dabbled in television, having produced shows like 2019's "When They See Us" and 2012's "NYC 22," via IMDb

De Niro, as of late, is just as inclined to appear in an acclaimed movie like "Joker" as he is to star in a VOD action flick like the upcoming "Savage Salvation," but fans can rest easy as the veteran actor is not only starring in "Zero Day" but is also among the show's executive producers, per Variety. So what has drawn De Niro to television after all these years, and what else do we currently know about this project?

What is the release date for Zero Day?

There is no release date as of December 2022 for "Zero Day." Netflix, unfortunately, doesn't comment on in-development projects, so fans will have to wait on an official tease from the streamer for a solid release date, per Variety

Netflix has already invested heavily in the business of Robert De Niro, having previously distributed the Martin Scorsese-directed "The Irishman" in 2019. That gangster epic carried a price tag of $160 million, via The Hollywood Reporter. That same year saw the release of "When They See Us," which De Niro helped produce. That miniseries was nominated for an Emmy for outstanding limited series, and "The Irishman" nabbed a best picture Oscar nomination, so you could say "Zero Day" is set up with an impressive winning streak, via IMDb

The streamer has hosted plenty of political thriller content in the past as well. They picked up "Designated Survivor" after it was canceled by ABC in 2018, per Deadline. They also made a splash in the originals department when they debuted the David Fincher-produced "House of Cards" in 2013, which ran for six seasons. That show ended just before "Designated Survivor" was picked up, and with neither of those series around now, perhaps "Zero Day" is the prime work to take their place. 

Who is producing Zero Day?

Robert De Niro's "Zero Day" will be written and executive produced by Eric Newman and Noah Oppenheim with a story by Michael Schmidt, per the announcement from Variety. Also among the producers are De Niro and Jonathan Glickman of Panoramic Media. The deal is part of an overall partnership between Newman and Netflix, according to Variety. Oppenheim is also the president of NBC News, via The Hollywood Reporter.  

"Zero Day" is not the only upcoming Netflix series Newman has coming. He's also a producer on a Netflix limited series starring "Modern Family" star Sofia Vergara as real-life drug queenpin, Griselda Blanco. The six-episode series was celebrated by Vergara. "We are thrilled to have found the perfect partners in Eric, Andrés and Netflix to help us bring this story of her life to the screen," she said in a statement.

Newman previously wrote for Netflix's popular "Narcos" franchise and created the Kevin Hart-starring miniseries "True Story." If "Zero Day" goes forward, it will be De Niro's first-ever regular TV appearance. He does, however, have a history of appearances on series like "Saturday Night Live," via Entertainment Tonight. 

What is the plot of Zero Day?

The plot of "Zero Day" is being kept under wraps. Robert De Niro, however, will reportedly be starring as a former U.S. president in what is being described as a political thriller, according to a report announcing the film's development in Variety.

Though it's described as a miniseries, it's unknown how many episodes "Zero Day" will run. De Niro should have some history to call upon for his role, as he's no stranger to rubbing shoulders with leaders of the free world. The actor was awarded the Medal of Freedom by then-President Barack Obama in 2016, per The Hollywood Reporter.

There's no way to tell if it will be an influence on the final product, but De Niro is also rather vocal about his politics. The thespian has long been open about his distaste for former President Donald Trump, a public figure he's criticized repeatedly over the years. Could he be basing this new character in some way on his seeming least favorite president?

"It's Shakespearean, the whole thing. You've got a lunatic saying things that people are trying to dance around," De Niro said in 2020 about the then-president, via The Washington Post.