Martin Scorsese’s (The Departed) upcoming Robert De Niro/Al Pacino mob picture, The Irishman, will finally start production in August of this year, with a Netflix release date pending in 2019.
According to Deadline, The Irishman has been adapted for the screen by one of the best screenwriters working today — Steve Zaillian (Gangs of New York) — from the Charles Brandt book I Heard You Paint Houses, which is the deathbed story from mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran about the disappearance and death of the former Teamsters union boss Jimmy Hoffa.
The Irishman will reunite Scorsese with De Niro for the first time since 1995’s Casino. It will also mark the director’s first collaboration with Pacino. De Niro and Pacino will be playing the roles of Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran and Jimmy Hoffa, respectively.
There are reports suggesting that The Irishman will use Benjamin Button-esque special effects, which will be applied to flashback scenes making De Niro and Pacino appear younger looking.
Don’t expect Goodfellas, implies Scorsese (via TI): “I think this is different, I think it is. I admit that there are – you know, Goodfellas and Casino have a certain style that I created for them – it’s on the page in the script actually. Putting Goodfellas together was almost like an afterthought, at times I was kind of rushing, I felt I’d already done it because I’d played it all out in terms of the camera moves and the editing and that sort of thing. The style of the picture, the cuts, the freeze-frames, all of this was planned way in advance, but here it’s a little different. The people are also older in The Irishman, it’s certainly more about looking back, a retrospective so to speak of a man’s life and the choices that he’s had to make.”
Updates: Funny guy Ray Romano has joined The Irishman. Ray will play Bill Bufalino, a Teamster lawyer with ties to the mob (via THR). News of Ray’s involvement comes a day after production announced the inclusion of Joe Pesci (Goodfellas). Stephen Graham has also joined the production as Genovese mob cappo Tony “Pro” Provenzano. Bobby Cannavale and Harvey Keitel are attached to the project, but have not been officially confirmed.