The Irishman, a passion project of Martin Scorcese’s, has been in the works for decades. The film, which would star Robert De Niro and Al Pacino (and maybe Joe Pesci and Bobby Cannavale), tells the story of mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, who is best-known today for a supposed involvement in the death of Jimmy Hoffa. Well, after years of gestation, it looks like The Irishman is finally going to become a reality as it was recently purchased by Netflix.
Originally set for a 2018 release, it’s now more likely to arrive in 2019, premiering both on Netflix and in theaters.
In a sign of the ongoing power shift in Hollywood, Martin Scorsese’s $100-million gangster movie The Irishman, his ninth starring Robert De Niro, has been scooped up by Netflix, which is in the process of closing a deal to release the movie to its 93 million subscribers in 190 countries.
The movie was going to be backed by Paramount Pictures, but with its 12-year chairman Brad Grey heading out the door, Scorsese’s team put together another package. As someone close to the deal put it, “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.”
In The Irishman, De Niro will be made to look 30 again by the effects masters at ILM, Benjamin-Button-style. His Heat co-star Al Pacino and other talent are still in negotiations. One possible boon for Scorsese: at Netflix, there will be no strictures on length.
The script for The Irishman was adapted by Steve Zaillian from Charles Brandt‘s book, I Heard You Paint Houses, which chronicles the life of Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran.
With films starring both De Niro and Leonardo Dicaprio lined up, it doesn’t look like Martin Scorcese plans on slowing down anytime soon, which is great news for film-loving humanity.