Joe Pesci has officially joined Robert De Niro and AL Pacino for Martin Scorsese's The Irishman. It has been reported that Pesci turned down the movie more than 50 times for reasons that are not clear, but the actor has apparently had a change of heart (or they offered him a lot of $$$). The movie is set to start filming in August and go through December of this year around New York. Harvey Keitel and Bobby Cannavale are currently in talks about joining the Netflix production, but nothing has been officially announced at this time.
Deadline reports that Joe Pesci has officially joined the cast after dropping out in May. Pesci is set to play Pennsylvania crime boss Russell Bufalino, a person of interest in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa as well as running an entire East Coast mob operation. Al Pacino's deal is in the final stages to play Hoffa while De Niro portrays Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran. All three of the legendary actors will be digitally de-aged by Industrial Light and Magic to look 30 years younger, which should be interesting.
The Irishman will mark the first time that Al Pacino and Martin Scorsese have worked together and will be a reunion of sorts for 1995's Casino and 1990's Good Fellas between Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, and Martin Scorsese, which has fans extremely excited. The Netflix production will also mark the ninth time that Scorsese and De Niro have worked together starting with 1976's iconic Taxi Driver. In addition, The Irishman will also reunite Scorsese and cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto after working together on Silence and The Wolf of Wall Street.
The movie, based on Charles Brandt's I Heard You Paint Houses book, has been in production for quite some time, bouncing from Paramount to landing on Netflix who dished out $105 million for the global rights. There has been controversy surrounding the book as the confessions of Frank The Irishman Sheeran on his deathbed have been disputed. Charles Brandt interviewed Sheeran on his deathbed and the hit man claimed that he had all of the information surrounding the disappearance of Hoffa, stating that he killed him. The FBI went as far as to go to the house where Sheeran claimed that it had happened, pulling up floorboards to search for evidence. It has been concluded that the DNA evidence retrieved at the scene did not belong to Hoffa.
Netflix has yet to reveal a release date, but it has been announced that The Irishman will have a limited theatrical run to qualify for the Academy Awards. It's safe to say that the movie will be released in late 2018 or 2019 with all of the digital effects set to be utilized and Scorsese's reputation for taking his time in the editing room. It's exciting to finally get some official news for the project, but fans are going to have to be patient for this one. Go check out Charles Brandt's book, I Heard You Paint Fences while you wait.