Martin Scorsese is the latest filmmaker to make the jump from the big screen to streaming. The famed director has released the first trailer for his latest mobster film The Irishman, which will be released on Netflix. Get that Oscar, Mr. Scorsese.
The upcoming film stars Robert De Niro as Frank Sheeran, a WWII veteran who returned to the US after the war and began his new career as a hitman. Sheeran was hired by infamous union head Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) and the story of the two men’s friendship that was first chronicled in Charles Brandt’s 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses is now the basis for the new film. The book’s title can be heard by DeNiro in today’s new trailer, with ‘painting houses’ a code to discuss illegal business over the phone. Just assume a lot of people are going to die in this movie.
The Irishman takes place over several decades, prompting Scorsese to use CGI and make to make De Niro and other members of the cast appear younger at the beginning of the film. Thankfully, it’s not Cats-level CGI and De Niro’s younger self, which we see in the new trailer, actually looks realistic and believable.
In addition to De Niro and Pacino, Joe Pesci also stars in the film as Russell Bufalino, a high ranking member of the Bufalino crime family, and at no point in the trailer says the line “I’m funny how, I mean, I’m funny like I’m a clown,” even though we’re waiting for it throughout the entire clip. Ray Romano stars as mafia member Bill Bufalino, Bobby Cannavale is hitman Felix ‘Skinny Razor’ DiTullio, Anna Paquin plays Sheenan’s wife Peggy, and Harvey Keitel is Philadelphia mob boss Angelo Bruno.
The Irishman is Scorsese’s first feature film since 2016’s Silence and packs a whopping $160 million budget. The new film reunites the Oscar-winning director with many of his former co-stars, including Romano and Cannavale (Vinyl), Pesci (Casino and Goodfellas), and De Niro (Raging Bull and Taxi Driver, of course).
Brandt’s book covers Hoffa’s long career and culminates in his 1975 disappearance, which was largely suspected to be a direct result of his dealings with the mob. Hoffa’s body was never found and eventually the President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters was declared dead in absentia in 1982. According to Brandt, Sheenan confessed to shooting and killing Hoffa, but police investigated the Detroit house where Sheenan said the assassination occurred and no blood matching Hoffa’s was found.
Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman is set to premiere at the New York Film Festival before enjoying a limited release in theatres and eventually arriving on Netflix.