De Niro heist thriller ‘Idol’s Eye’ production cancelled

Robert DeNiro

Financing problems have shut down “Idol’s Eye,” the Robert DeNiro – Robert Pattinson “sophisticated heist/thriller” that was set to start filming in Toronto, instead of Chicago, the originally announced location, where the story and characters were set.

“Due to the criteria for financing not being met by producers, Benaroya Pictures has formally decided to discontinue financing the motion picture ‘Idol’s Eye,’” the production company said in a statement.

Principal photography originally was intended to roll here in October, for a budget that fell in the mid-$20 million range. Olivier Assayas (“Carlos the Jackal”) was the writer/director. It would’ve been the French director’s first American film.

The story was based on true events involving Chicago Outfit chief Tony “Big Tuna” Accardo (De Niro), whose home was burgled by a team led by Pattinson, who stole his prized 70 carat large diamond, Idol’s Eye.

The actors and Benaroya had signed onto the production in late May following the Cannes Film Festival. Rachel Weisz was also cast.

Assayas had scouted Chicago twice earlier this year, and De Nire had been reported scouting here in September.  About that time, however, it was generally known that the film had been relocated to Toronto. 

“Idol’s Eye” was also the only feature to have been shot here this fall.

“This is something all of us wanted to avoid, but due to the producers missing a number of financing criteria deadlines that were mutually established by all parties, we were left with no other options,” Benaroya told Variety Monday.

“Benaroya Pictures plans to retain the rights of the film and move forward with production on the picture after we generate a revised script and assemble a new filmmaking team.”