Still, almost all the industry sources interviewed for this story agree it's time for De Niro to dive back into deep water. "He needs to do a very serious drama where he doesn't chew any of the furniture," says one studio insider. "He needs to disappear inside a character again."
De Niro may be ready. He's preparing to direct and act in "The Good Shepherd," a sweeping tale set within the CIA that he's been fighting to get made. "It's poetic and really haunting," says one agent. "It's 'The Godfather,' set in the CIA. It could be his magnum opus." Even if it isn't, at least one producer thinks the actor has earned the right to do whatever he wants: "I mean, come on. He's still Robert F---ing De Niro."
"DiCaprio's next project is The Good Shepherd, about James Jesus Angleton, one of the original officers in the O.S.S, the World War 2-era spy agency, which became the CIA. It will be directed by Robet De Niro, whose choice of DiCaprio as a star was a given - even a necessity.
"He's an intelligent person," De Niro says, "and, especially for this part, I need somebody who doesn't have to do much in certain ways in order to convey that. I think with certain people in the movie, I might not even have wanted to do the movie."
Outspoken OSCARS host CHRIS ROCK fears Hollywood has overlooked the best films of 2004 - SPIDER-MAN 2 and THE BOURNE SUPREMACY.
The funnyman has been checking out all the nominated movies for the upcoming ACADEMY AWARDS and he's yet to find one he enjoyed as much as his favourite box office successes.
He says, "Like any year, the best movies aren't nominated. What the f**k is better than The Bourne Supremacy and Spider-Man 2? Most Americans would say they are the best movies of the year. An overwhelming majority would take either of them over FINDING NEVERLAND."