Having received the greenlight from Netflix, acclaimed director Martin Scorsese is currently gearing up for production on The Irishman, his long-gestating biopic of Frank Sheeran, a labour union official with mob ties who claimed to be responsible for the murder of Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa.
The Irishman is set to reunite Scorsese with frequent collaborators Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci (while Al Pacino is also attached to star), but despite its cast and genre, the filmmaker is keen to stress that it won’t be a redo of his earlier mob classics Goodfellas or Casino.
“I think this is different, I think it is,” Scorsese tells The Independent. “I admit that there are – you know, Goodfellas and Casino have a certain style that I created for them – it’s on the page in the script actually. Putting Goodfellas together was almost like an afterthought, at times I was kind of rushing, I felt I’d already done it because I’d played it all out in terms of the camera moves and the editing and that sort of thing. The style of the picture, the cuts, the freeze-frames, all of this was planned way in advance, but here it’s a little different. The people are also older in The Irishman, it’s certainly more about looking back, a retrospective so to speak of a man’s life and the choices that he’s had to make.”
Scorsese went on to discuss what attracted him to the project, stating: “What makes a person this way, what makes them become a professional killer. It’s about love, betrayal, remorse and the sadness and tragedy, ultimately, of a life led that way. And it’s about mercy too, I don’t know if there’ll be any of that in the picture yet, there might be.”
The Irishman will see De Niro taking on the role of Frank Sheeran, and will reportedly employ CGI to digitally de-age its cast. It is slated to begin production in August ahead of a planned release in 2019.