It might seem like only yesterday, but actually the last time Martin Scorsese made a gangster movie, the year was 2006. You remember The Departed, right? After all, it won Best Picture at all major award ceremonies the following year. Scorsese has since visited other topics, including an island-based mental asylum (Shutter Island), inter-war Paris (Hugo), the world of finance (The Wolf of Wall Street) and 17th century Japan (Silence). Sometime in 2019, however, we’ll get the Irishman, a return to the subject of Irish gangs in the US – this time centering on Jimmy Hoffa and Frank Sheeran. We thought it would be nice to start building the hype by presenting you a series of facts about the upcoming project.
1. A sizable investment
Mexican producing company Fábrica de Cine initially offered $100 million for financing the film – but since such a deal eventually never materialised, the project was bought by Netflix, who agreed to provide $125 million as a production budget. Later figures report that the budget was upped to a sum somewhere between $140 and $175 million, due to additional expenses.
2. Collaboration heaven
The Irishman will mark the 9th instance that Martin Scorsese and Robert de Niro will have collaborated together for a feature film. Only one more project to go until they hit the magic number of 10! It is also the fourth time that de Niro and Al Pacino appear on the big screen together (the first project was The Godfather II), but quite surprisingly, it’s the first time that Martin Scorsese will direct Al Pacino. Better late than never!
3. Oh, to be young again!
Robert de Niro is currently 75. However, the story in The Irishman happens quite a few decades ago – so, Robert de Niro would have been an ideal fit for the role of Frank Sheeran back in the 1970s or 1980s. He still is, though – through the wonders of make-up and visual effects, de Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci will be de-aged to look at least 30 years younger than they really are. Such plans were reported to have been part of the reason for the budget increase that we talked about earlier.
4. No release date yet
We do not have much material to work on yet, as there are no trailers, teasers, and very few set pictures to speak of. However, the shooting of the film has been completed – it started in August 2017 and was wrapped up on 5 March 2018. Since The Irishman has been in post-production for a few months, it shouldn’t take too long to find out more details. My guess, however, is that the film is pushing for a late 2019 release, in order to be considered for the 2020 award season, so it might indeed be a while until we get to watch a new Scorsese mob film!