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Mickey Rourke Says Robert De Niro Feud Got Him Axed From Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’

Robert De Niro stars opposite Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in Scorsese's upcoming crime epic.

"The Irishman"

“The Irishman”

Netflix

Update (4:00pm ET): According to “The Irishman” producers, Jane Rosenthal and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, and casting director Ellen Lewis, “Mickey Rourke was never asked to be in “The Irishman” nor was he ever even thought of, discussed or considered to be in the movie.”

Earlier: “The Irishman” starring Mickey Rourke? It could have happened, at least according to “The Wrestler” Oscar nominee. Rourke told the Italian television program “Live – Non è la D’Urso” (via The Independent) that he could have been considered for a role in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming gangster epic had leading actor Robert De Niro not refused to work with him. Rourke said the two actors had a falling out while working together on Alan Parker’s 1987 psychological horror movie “Angel Heart.”

“Marty Scorsese wanted to meet me for a movie with Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro,” Rourke said, referencing “The Irishman.” “The casting person told my manager that Robert De Niro said he refused to work with me in a movie.”

Rourke added that getting booted from consideration upset him because he “needed the money.” Rourke continued, “I don’t look up to [De Niro] no more; I look through him.” IndieWire has reached out to representatives for Scorsese and De Niro for further comment.

“The Irishman” stars De Niro as Frank Sheeran, a World War II veteran who becomes a mob hitman and goes on to have a role in Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance. Pacino is starring as notorious mob-connected union boss Hoffa. The supporting cast includes Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano, and Anna Paquin. For De Niro and Pesci, “The Irishman” marks a reunion with Scorsese after “Goodfellas” and “Casino.” Pesci won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in “Goodfellas.”

Netflix is world premiering “The Irishman” on opening night of the New York Film Festival. The gangster epic will have a three-week exclusive theatrical release beginning November 1 before debuting November 27 on the streaming platform. De Niro has already lined up another Martin Scorsese movie and will star opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in the early 20th-Century-set serial killer drama “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

After earning an Oscar nomination for Best Actor with “The Wrestler,” Rourke went on to land high profile gigs in “Iron Man 2” and “The Expendables.” The actor’s other recent credits include “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” “War Pigs,” “Berlin, I love You,” and “Night Walk.”

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