Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman brings together American acting legends and frequent collaborators Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel in a blood-soaked story about the unsolved murder of Jimmy Hoffa in 1975. The teaser for the Netflix production, which has been written by Steven Zaillian, gives a glimpse of the primary characters. After a world premiere at the New York Film Festival on September 27, The Irishman is slated to be out on Netflix in late 2019.
The Irishman is based on crime reporter Charles Brandt’s non-fiction book I Heard You Paint Houses. Pacino plays Hoffa, the powerful Mafia-connected president of the labour union International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
In July 1975, Hoffa disappeared and was never found. Brandt’s book features a confession by Frank Sheeran, a Mafia hitman who claimed to have murdered Hoffa. De Niro plays Sheeran. According to the book, and as seen in the teaser, “I heard you paint houses,” is the first thing Hoffa told Sheeran on being introduced (a euphemism for murder).
Joe Pesci plays Russell Bufalino, the boss of the Buffalino crime family. The teaser suggests Buffalino introduced Hoffa to Sheeran. Hoffa was previously played by Jack Nicholson in a Danny DeVito-directed 1992 biopic.
Keitel plays Philadelphia crime family boss Angelo Bruno, who isn’t seen in the teaser. Anna Paquin plays Hoffa’s daughter, Peggy. Cast members include Jesse Plemons, Stephen Graham, Bobby Cannavale, and Ray Romano.
Pacino and De Niro are sharing the screen for the third time after Heat (1995) and Righteous Kill (2008). De Niro and Pesci are starring together in the fourth Scorsese film. De Niro is also reportedly teaming up again with Scorsese for an adaptation of another non-fiction crime book, Killers of the Flower Moon.
Reported to have a budget of up to $200 million, the film features digitally de-aged versions of the main cast members. De Niro, Pacino and Pesci, all in their mid-seventies, appear years younger in the teaser. Recent films that have featured digitally de-aged actors include Ang Lee’s Gemini Man and the Samuel L Jackson-starrer Shaft reboot.