It’s been almost 25 years since Casino was released, which happens to be the last time Martin Scorsese teamed with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci to make a mob drama, but now that the first trailer for The Irishman has been released, that clock can be reset. The film is set to open the New York Film Festival, before getting a limited theatrical release and becoming available on Netflix. The film also stars Al Pacino, Ray Romano and Harvey Keitel, which adds to the films intrigue.
The film is an adaptation of Charles Brandt’s nonfiction book I Heard You Paint Houses, which tells the true story of mob hit man Frank Sheeran (played by De Niro). Sheeran has admitted to killing 25 men for the mob, including his friend Jimmy Hoffa. Pesci plays the role of Pennsylvania mob boss Russell Bufalino, while Pacino plays Hoffa.The film reportedly cost Netflix $125 million to make, but the payback could be great as early word is the film should be a player come awards’ season next year.
During a press conference, it was revealed that the film came about when De Niro and Scorsese were close to committing to an adaptation of the Don Winslow novel The Winter of Frankie Machine, which is also about a hit man. To study up on the role De Niro picked up a copy of I Heard You Paint Houses, and he liked the story so much that he and Scorsese decided to make it instead. For their roles, the actors were de-aged using special effects since the film takes place during various stages of the characters’ lives.
From the trailer The Irishman looks to be a throwback to other mob drama projects De Niro and Scorsese have worked on together, including Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas and Casino.