Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman': Everything We Know (So Far)

It's shaping up to be another gangster classic

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It sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Martin Scorsese. Robert De Niro. Al Pacino. Joe Pesci (!). Guns. Gangsters. New York. The world must be playing an evil prank on you. Just as you sit down in that cinema - as soon as you let your guard down and dip into your Minstrels - everyone will leap out, point, laugh and press play on the Bee Movie instead.

But hey, that might not happen - and if it doesn't, we've got something very special to look forward to. Here's everything we know so far about Marty's star-studded return to gangland cinema...

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1 | The original name wouldn't fit on a cinema ticket

Murdered mob boss Jimmy Hoffa
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Long-time Scorsese collaborator Steven Zaillian based the screenplay on the celebrated book 'I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank 'The Irishman' Sheeran and the Inside Story of the Mafia, the Teamsters, and the Final Ride by Jimmy Hoffa', written by Charles Brandt.

To get his inside information on the secretive mob, Brandt interviewed imprisoned hitman Frank Sheeran over the course of five years. In the process of their chats, Sheeran admitted to pulling off 25 Mafia-sanctioned murders.

Needless to say the story's in safe hands with Zaillian, who also penned Schindler's List, Gangs of New York, Awakenings and Moneyball and owns at least one more Oscar trophy than you.

2 | They're already filming it

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Last week, photos emerged of Marty directing De Niro, Pesci and Harvey Keitel on the streets of New York, with the cars and costumes indicating a 60s/70s setting.

Not that you can take much away from the characters' appearances. Martin Scorsese will be implementing state-of-the-art de-aging special effects on the cast in order to span the story over the course of several decades.

Discussing the tech, De Niro told Deadline: "We're doing the young stuff first and taking it decade-by-decade so that later the oldest stuff will be closer to our own age. So they're trying to really make it as good as they can make it, and that's the goal that it can be something special that everyone would want to see and see it done as well as it can at this point. I'm excited by it and looking forward to doing it."

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Scorsese has spoken about how the film is set to be more contemplative than his previous gangster classics, telling the Independent in May: "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."

3 | Big studios shunned the film

Sad Martin Scorsese, smiling through the tears
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The aforementioned 'de-aging' tech spooked a lot of Hollywood studios, who feared the process (which involves George Lucas' London-based VFC company Industrial Light & Magic who worked on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) would run up the film's bill.

That lack of faith may have been something to do with Silence, Scorsese's last big-budget movie, which failed to recoup even half of its spend, making studios wary of another expensive misstep from the legendary director.

4 | Netflix rescued it

The streaming giants stepped in to save the day, splashing out £82 million on the project. A big chunk of change, but there are reportedly high hopes within the company that The Irishman will be Netflix's first Oscar-winning movie.

On the mild controversy surrounding Netflix's involvement, De Niro reasoned: "I think that's good also because we need the money to do it right and it just wasn't financeable in another way, in the traditional film way, if you will."

5 | Pesci reportedly refused the role 50 times

Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro and the late Jake LaMotta

Pesci is said to be playing Mafia boss Russell Bufalino, but it took all of Scorsese's persuasive skills to bring the legend out of semi-retirement.

They've previously made three movies together, and Pesci won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Goodfellas, but he consistently told Scorsese to go fuck himself (so to speak) in the build-up to The Irishman, before finally relenting. Pesci has only starred in three films since 1998's Lethal Weapon 4.

6 | It's not out until 2019

Oh.

Bookmark this page for regular updates on the movie.