Everything You Need to Know About Martin Scorsese’s $100 Million ‘Goodfellas’ Reunion
'The Irishman' will feature Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, and Harvey Keitel.
At last we heard of Martin Scorsese, the Oscar-winning director had just released Silence and rumors were swirling about a possible follow-up project starring Robert De Niro and Leonard DiCaprio in the same film, the first one to feature both actors on the director’s résumé.
Not to dash your hopes for the Goodfellas and Wolf of Wall Street mashup you’ve been piecing together in your mind, but IndieWire reports of a rather decent replacement: The Irishman, Scorsese’s first gangster movie since The Departed, which will feature a reunion of some of the greatest onscreen wise guys in film history.
The movie’s based on 2003 nonfiction book, I Heard You Painted Houses, about former mafia hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, who confessed to 25 hits over the course of five years of interviews for it. The title comes from his most famous alleged hit, Jimmy Hoffa, whose first words to him became the title of the book.
As IndieWire notes, this won’t be the tried-and-true gangster film we’ve come to know Scorsese for, but will be from the perspective of Sheeran as an old man, looking back on the hits in his past. “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,” the director recently told The Independent. He went on to say that The Irishman would be stylistically different than previous gangster movies like Goodfellas and Casino.
But despite the more serious tone—which could keep the blood spatter down to a dribble—Scorsese has chosen a cast for the ages. So far, the cast includes Robert De Niro as Sheeran, which pairs the actor with the director for the first time in 22 years; Joe Pesci (he of “You Think I’m Funny?“), who’s basically coming out of retirement for this Goodfellas reunion; Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa; Harvey Keitel (a.k.a. Mr. White in Reservoir Dogs); and Bobby Cannavale (Nurse Jackie). The cast even features an obscure choice, which we’re going to just trust Scorsese on: Ray Romano of Everybody Loves Raymond fame (if anyone can make a funnyman go dramatic, it’d be Scorsese). (The last two actors featured into Scorsese’s short-lived HBO series Vinyl.)
Don’t expect The Irishman to be completely septuagenarian-driven; Scorsese’s apparently hired George Lucas’ special effects production company to make De Niro look younger in flashbacks.
And did we mention it’ll all be on Netflix? So make sure you have an account at the ready.
Production of The Irishman begins in August, and Scorsese’s got a dream team working with him: Rodrigo Prieto, his cinematographer for Wolf of Wall Street; Steve Zallian, an Oscar-winning screenwriter, who recently got an Emmy nomination for HBO’s The Night Of; and six-time-Oscar-nominated editor Thelma Schoonmaker, who’s edited pretty much everything of note in Scorsese’s repertoire.
Alas, The Irishman won’t hit the streaming service until 2019. But you can start piecing together the psychotic, expletive-laden Pesci scenes in your head in the meantime.
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