At long last, Martin Scorsese has returned to gangster movies. Today, July 31st, Netflix released a trailer for the legendary director’s highly-anticipated new film, The Irishman, starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino (who has never worked with Scorsese before). For film buffs, just typing the description sends tingles down the spine. It’s set to open the New York Film Festival on September 27th, which could truly not come fast enough.
The Irishman, based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, tackles the infamous case of Jimmy Hoffa, the mob-connected teamsters union president who vanished outside Detroit in 1975. The film stars Pacino as Hoffa, De Niro as Frank Sheeran, a World War II vet and mob hitman who played some sort of role in his disappearance, and Pesci as Russell “McGee” Bufalino, boss of the Pennsylvania Bufalino crime family. The supporting cast includes Anna Paquin as Sheeran’s daughter Peggy, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano, Jesse Plemons, and Bobby Cannavale.
The film is designed as an epic story, spanning decades throughout Hoffa’s life. And so Scorsese used special visual effects to age his cast down (you can spot a younger-looking De Niro towards the end of the teaser). They were enormously expensive–the film has a reported budget of $150-200 million. Fingers crossed that we don’t have a Sonic the Hedgehog situation on our hands.
Back in April, The Irishman producer (and TriBeCa film festival co-founder) Jane Rosenthal spoke to Variety about the project, saying that while Netflix is distributing the film, there will be “some sort of theatrical component.”
“You have to have that,” she said. “It’s a different experience than watching it at home. In a theater, you may start to laugh at something because the people next to you are laughing — and The Irishman is very funny, much like Goodfellas was funny. Marty is genius in the way his shots move. You see them differently on a big screen. I watched Roma in a theater, and the clarity of the black and white on a big screen was so beautiful. You miss that when you watch it at home on your computer. But at the same time you have a situation where audiences have more power than ever before over how they want to watch something.”
Goodfellas mode! This is extremely exciting. Watch the trailer, below.