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Robert De Niro Says Martin Scorsese Experimenting With ‘Benjamin Button’ Technology For ‘The Irishman’

Robert De Niro Says Martin Scorsese Experimenting With 'Benjamin Button' Technology For 'The Irishman'

While Martin Scorsese is wrapped on “Silence,” there’s another long brewing project he’s forever promised to get to: “The Irishman.” The good news is that it looks like it’s definitely on the horizon, but there’s a curious new twist to the project, that makes it all the more intriguing.

Doing the rounds for “The Intern,” Robert De Niro stopped by Empire with Anne Hathaway to talk about the comedy. The discussion soon veered into the lack of roles for women in the industry, and De Niro shared that essentially his options are also limited for leading roles as an older actor. However, he then revealed that for “The Irishman,” the production may utilize technology to allow De Niro to appear in what I’d assume are flashback sequences.

“I’m working on ‘The Irishman’ with Marty Scorsese, and there are sections, earlier periods in the film, where we’re experimenting with how I can [look younger] like ‘Benjamin Button.’ Not only me, but the other actors too,” he said. Huh. 

To recap, the Steve Zaillian (“Gangs Of New York,” “Schindler’s List,” “Moneyball“) penned movie, adapted from the book “I Heard You Paint Houses” by Charles Brandt, tells the true story of Frank Sheeran, a WWII veteran who led a colorful life as a high ranking officer in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters while also dabbling in organized crime as a highly-sought-after hitman, with rumored ties to the deaths of President Kennedy and Jimmy Hoffa. Al PacinoBobby CannavaleJoe Pesci and Harvey Keitel have all been mentioned as cast members along with De Niro.

The decision to possibly use the same technology that David Fincher did for his picture is an interesting one, and maybe not as outrageous as it sounds. The other option would be to get actors to play those younger roles, but then you run the risk of getting folks doing imitations instead of characterizations, which in the case of De Niro and Pacino might be more distracting than engaging.

READ MORE: Al Pacino Says He’s Still Hoping To Make ‘The Irishman’ With Martin Scorsese & Robert De Niro

As for when the picture might shoot, De Niro was a bit cagey, telling Digital Spy, ”We are doing it… We should be doing it sometime next year. We’re slowly, slowly getting it in place.”
Fingers crossed.

Below, check out the full talk with Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway at Empire, plus bonus: Tom Hiddleston recreates a scene from “Heat,” impersonating both De Niro and Pacino.


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