The hype for director Martin Scorsese's Netflix gangster epic is growing, and now we know exactly how epic it is going to be. According to the official New York Film Festival website, where the film is set to have its official premiere, The Irishman will clock in at a bladder-straining three-and-a-half hours. Though, since it is being widely released on the streaming service, you could always pause it for a bathroom back. Still, this is quite a very grand length, and certainly suggests that Scorsese won't be rushing through any events, and will surely give him plenty of time to get in deep with these characters.

In comparison with Scorsese's often lengthy back catalogue, 1990's Best Picture Academy Award nominee Goodfellas and 2007's Best Picture Academy Award Winner The Departed both run for a juicy two-and-a-half hours apiece, with crime drama Casino hitting the full three hours. Frankly, if anyone deserves to produce a three-and-a-half hour gangster film it is inarguably Martin Scorsese.

Hollywood icon and one of the greatest actors of all time, ever, Robert De Niro will headline the film as a mob hitman and World War II veteran named Frank 'The Irishman' Sheeran, who it is believed carried out a total of more than 25 murders, as well as working alongside some of the most notorious criminal figures of the 20th century. Now an old man, the film reflects on the events that defined the man's life and career as a hitman, paying close attention to his involvement with the cultural figure Jimmy Hoffa, and his mysterious disappearance in the early 1980's.

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Alongside De Niro, The Irishman boasts an enviable cast, with Scrosese bringing back some of his old friends , filling the film with real gangster actor pedigree. Goodfellas alum Joe Pesci will portray infamous crime boss Russell Bufalino, while fellow Hollywood icon, Al Pacino will star as Sheeran's long-time friend, Jimmy Hoffa, in his first time working with Scorsese.

If that wasn't enough to have you salivating, The Irishman cast also includes Harvey Keitel, Anna Paquin, Jesse Plemons, Stephen Graham, and even the man who supposedly everybody loves, Ray Romano, as Bill Bufalino.

With such a vast runtime, the film will track our characters through decades, and plans to achieve this using extensive digital de-aging technology to take the now elderly actors back to their prime and allow us to witness what will hopefully be an assortment of gripping performances from these legendary actors as they navigate through the ages. Aside from the actors perhaps not putting in the kind of top-tier work they used to, the de-aging technology is a concern for some, with results often being quite mixed. But, if anyone can pull greatness out of these once-great actors, as well as nail the look of the film, it is Scorsese.

The Irishman will begin its limited theatrical run from the beginning of November, before premiering on Netflix later that month on 27th November and leading to aching butt cheeks everywhere. This news comes from FilmLinc.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge