Netflix released the first teaser of Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman on Monday, hours after their production, Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, scored three wins at the 91st Academy Awards including Best Director for Cuaron.
The crime drama stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel. The 57-second teaser features voices of the actors. This is Pacino’s first collaboration with Scorsese. It will released on Netflix and may also have a limited theatrical release. The date has not been announced.
The Irishman is adapted from Charles Brandt’s non-fiction book I Heard You Paint Houses, which was based on years of interviews with mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, who was believed to have links with the Bufalino crime family. Brandt claimed that Sheeran confessed to killing American labour union leader Jimmy Hoffa, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances in 1975. According to the book, the phrase is a euphemism for murder and was the first thing that Hoffa, who too allegedly had underworld links, said to Sheeran. Hoffa’s murder has not officially been solved, despite Sheeran’s alleged confession.
In Scorsese’s film, De Niro stars as Frank Sheeran and Pacino as Hoffa. Joe Pesci plays Russell Bufalino, the boss of the Bufalino crime family. Comedian Ray Romano, whose recent credits include The Big Sick (2017) and Paddleton (2019), plays Bill Bufalino. Harvey Keitel plays Angelo Bruno, head of the Philadelphia crime family.
Other cast members include Anna Paquin, Bobby Cannavale, Sebastian Maniscalco, Stephen Graham, Action Bronson, and Jesse Plemons. Thelma Schoonmaker, Scorsese’s editor for five decades, is part of the crew, as is cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto who has lensed three films for the director.
The Irishman is De Niro’s eighth film with Scorsese and his seventh film with Pesci. Scorsese has directed Pesci thrice and Keitel five times.
This is reportedly Netflix’s and Scorsese’s most expensive production so far, costing more than an estimated $140 million, with some reports claiming that the budget shot up to and over $175 million. Most of this has been used by Scorsese to reverse-age the film’s lead actors who play their characters at various points of their life, starting from their early-30s. Scorsese has reportedly employed Industrial Light and Magic to de-age the actors. The company had earlier done the reverse for David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008).