It seems like every few months we learn a little more about Martin Scorsese‘s ambitious inter-generational gangster movie, The Irishman, and a little less about when this film will finally come out. Since rumblings about the film first started happening in 2010, Scorsese fans have waited with bated breath for The Irishman release date to be announced.
When Netflix picked up the drama, the end appeared to be in sight. Then 2017 passed us by. Then 2018. And not a word about this film has been spoken since the new year started — but now actors and crew have started to drum up anticipation for the Robert De Niro, Al Pacino gangster movie with new details about the film’s de-aging technology and (finally) a possible release date.
How Much of The Irishman Will Have De-Aged Robert De Niro and Al Pacino?
The Irishman‘s costly budget has been a great source of headlines in the past few years, with Scorsese’s use of complicated CGI to de-age several of the actors for certain scenes reportedly pushing the budget to over $140 million. But just how much of this movie, which is set to take place over multiple decades with De Niro and Pacino playing both the younger and older versions of themselves, will feature the de-aged actors?
Editor and longtime Scorsese collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker revealed to Yahoo that about half of The Irishman will feature De Niro and Pacino as their de-aged selves:
“We’re youthifying the actors in the first half of the movie. And then the second half of the movie they play their own age. So that’s a big risk. We’re having that done by Industrial Light and Magic, ILM. That’s a big risk.”
ILM is the visual effects company founded by George Lucas responsible for the effects behind the Star Wars franchise, as well as the de-aging effects in Marvel films like Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain America: Civil War, and Captain Marvel — through which the technology has had the most mainstream exposure. The tech was used extensively in Ant-Man and the Wasp in particular, but never has it been the focal point for half of an entire film. Schoonmaker admitted that because The Irishman is such “an expensive project, [Netflix are] taking a risk there,” and thus the success of the film heavily rides on how convincing that de-aging technology is. But, in a vote of confidence for this film, she said that when she watched that first cut with Scorsese, and the lights came on in the room, they both looked at each other and said “wow.”
“We’re seeing some of it, but I haven’t gotten a whole scene where they’re young, and what I’m going to have to see, and what Marty’s going to have to see is, ‘How is it affecting the rest of the movie when you see them young?’” she added.
When Will This Movie Come Out?
The Irishman was rumored for a long time to be hitting Netflix (and possibly theaters) in 2019, but as the second month of the new year rolls by and we hear no news of the Scorsese film, that release date is becoming less certain. However, actor Sebastian Maniscalco, who plays legendary crime boss “Crazy” Joe Gallo in The Irishman, told the Joe Rogan Experience podcast to expect a October 2019 premiere on Netflix:
“It’s coming out in October…I didn’t sleep for the first week leading up to the [first] scene, because I knew it would be with De Niro and Pesci. When I went in there, I told myself that I’m not speaking to nobody. I’m gonna speak when I’m spoken to. There was a part when they were lighting De Niro and I, we’re standing face to face, and I’m looking straight at him.”
There’s no official confirmation from the streaming giant yet, but this could mean that Netflix is eyeing a big Cannes premiere for the Scorsese movie with a possible Oscars 2020 push akin to last year’s campaign for Roma — if they can dissolve their Cannes feud. But this is a huge star-studded film, with Scorsese’s past collaborators De Niro and Pesci reuniting for the film, as well as Pacino marking his first time working with the legendary director. Harvey Keitel also stars, along with Anna Paquin, Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano, Stephen Graham and Jesse Plemons. The film is based on Charles Brandt’s I Heard You Paint Houses about Frank Sheeran, a union official with mob connections who claimed to be involved with the murder of Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa (played by Pacino).
The Irishman may premiere on Netflix in October 2019.
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