Great news for film fans!!
- Netflix has purchased the rights to the new film ‘The Irishman,’ which will be directed by Martin Scorsese and released in 2019
- The film tells the story of mob hitman Frank Sheeran, who will be played by Robert De Niro in his ninth film with Scorsese
- Al Pacino will star as Jimmy Hoffa in what will be his first ever film with Scorsese and only his third film with De Niro
- Scorsese has cast Joe Pesci as well, 25 years after he won an Oscar for his performance in the director’s classic film ‘Goodfellas ‘
- Harvey Keitel, who starred in Scorsese’s first feature film, ‘Who’s That Knocking at My Door,’ will also have a part in the film
- Rounding out the cast is Bobby Cannavale, who won an Emmy for his work on Scorsese’s series Boardwalk Empire
The picture was already in pre-production when Netlfix swept in and made their offer, with Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese at the helm.
It is based on the life of mob hitman Frank Sheeran, who allegedly confessed on his death bed to murdering his good friend Jimmy Hoffa, the union leader whose disappearance remains one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in American history, along with a number of others.
Robert De Niro will star as Sheeran in what will be his ninth film with Scorsese, the man who helped to launch his career back in 1972 with Mean Streets and later directed him to a Best Actor Oscar win in the 1980 classic Raging Bull.
And in the role of Hoffa will be Al Pacino, another Oscar winner and a good friend of De Niro’s who has been in the business for six decades but has somehow never once appeared in one of Scorsese’s film, making this their first project together.
It will also be just the third film together for the two actors, who first worked together in 1995 on the critically lauded Heat and followed that up in 2008 with the universally panned Righteous Kill.
IndieWire was the first to report details of the deal between Netflix and Scorsese, which would allow the streaming service to release the film to their 93 million subscribers worldwide.
Netflix reportedly entered the picture after Paramount Pictures had to drop out of the project, due to the number of risks the big-budget project presented to the company.
‘Scorsese’s movie is a risky deal, and Paramount is not in the position to take risks. This way, he can make the project he wants,’ said the source.
Netflix has become known over the past few years for the autonomy they give their talent, something that people like ‘Orange Is the New Black’ creator Jenji Kohan and more recently Brit Marling of ‘The OA’ have raved about in interviews.
It turns out that the project Scorsese wants will not only reunite him with De Niro, but also two of his other favorite actors.
For the role of Sicilian-born crime boss Russell Bufalino, who at one point ran the entire East Coast for the Cosa Nostra, Scorsese has selected Oscar-winning actor Joe Pesci, who picked up his prize back in 1991 for his work in the director’s most beloved film, ‘Goodfellas.’
Also play a Sicilian crime boss will be Oscar-nominated actor Harvey Keitel, who has been cast as Angelo Bruno in the film.
This will be Keitel’s fourth time working with Scorsese, having previously starred in ‘Mean Streets,’ ‘Taxi Driver’ and the director’s first feature, the 1967 film ‘Who’s That Knocking at My Door.’
Bobby Canavalle is also onboard to play infamous New York City gangster Joe Gallo, who is better known as Crazy Joe and who Sheeran also allegedly confessed to killing on his detahbed.
The actor has also managed to take home so awards-show hardware thanks to Scorsese, scooping up the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series back in 2013 for his role on ‘Boardwalk Empire.’
The screenplay for the film meanwhile is being penned by Steven Zaillan, the Oscar-winning writer behind ‘Schindler’s List’ who has worked with Scorsese in the past on ‘Gangs of New York,’
No other details have been given about the film at the time and Netflix would not comment on their purchase.
And while the prestige of everyone involved this far is reason for excitement, it is also worth noting that the film has been in pre-production for over five years.
There also countless other iconic mob members that Sheeran speaks of in I Heard You Paint Houses, the biography on which the film is based.
It was written by his lawyer Charles Brandt, who claims that most of Sheeran’s admissions were made in 2003 while on his deathbed.
Unfortunately, none of those admissions were about a man that could be played by Leonardo DiCaprio.