After the heavy-duty drama of Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman”, Robert De Niro’s upcoming project finds the Oscar-winning actor detouring into comedy.

De Niro heads the cast of new Hollywood caper flick “The Comeback Trail”, featuring a star-studded cast and a plot that borrows from Mel Brooks’ “The Producers”.

Set in 1974, “The Comeback Trail” features De Niro as down-on-his-luck movie producer Max Barber, who’s deeply in debt to mob boss Reggie Fontaine (Morgan Freeman). When Fontaine gives him 72 hours to come up with the cash “or I’ll choke you to death,” Max hatches a scheme.

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After learning that the death of a director (Emile Hirsch) who perished in an unfortunate on-set accident delivered a $5-million insurance payout to the studio, Max pitches Reggie his plan: they’ll pretend to make a movie, with the real goal of taking out a hefty insurance policy on its star and deliberately killing him during filming.

Max finds the perfect actor: Duke Montana (Tommy Lee Jones), a washed-up star of westerns, whose habit of starting each day with a round of Russian roulette gives Max confidence they’ve found their victim.

Max and his partner Walter (Zach Braff) quickly get their fake movie into production, devising all manner of sabotaged stunts designed to help Duke meet his maker.

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Unfortunately, the crusty cowboy proves to be frustratingly tough to kill, surviving stunt after dangerous stunt as Reggie loses his patience.

“The Comeback Trail” is slated to premiere in theatres on Nov. 13.

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