Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” has its greenlight. The $100-million gangster movie Netflix acquired earlier this year will start production in August, according to sources connected to the production. The film marks the ninth collaboration between Scorsese and Robert De Niro, who plays Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a mob hitman who supposedly was involved in the death of Jimmy Hoffa.
The film stars Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Bobby Cannavale and Harvey Keitel, according to IMDb. Steve Zaillian (“Moneyball”) adapted “The Irishman” from Charles Brandt‘s 2003 book, “I Heard You Paint Houses,” about Sheeran’s career as a hitman. In certain scenes, De Niro will be made to look around 30 years old by VFX company Industrial Light & Magic.
Shortly before presenting De Niro with the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Chaplin Award in New York on Monday, Scorsese told the crowd that the two would begin working on their next project together in “a few weeks.” Director of photography Rodrigo Prieto will shoot “The Irishman,” having previously served as cinematographer on Scorsese’s “Silence” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
Sources say Netflix is aiming for a 2019 release day-and-date with a limited Oscar-qualifying release. The company has 93 million subscribers in 190 countries. Netflix declined comment.
STX Entertainment first acquired the rights to “The Irishman” for $50 million at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. The deal represented an enormous sum for a movie didn’t exist yet, but Scorsese was coming off a major hit with 2013’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which took in $392 million at the worldwide box office.
Paramount Pictures, which still has a production deal with Scorsese through 2019, was originally planning on producing “The Irishman” before Netflix took all world rights in February. The project was first announced back in 2008.