Martin Scorsese is still busy filming the 3D Hugo Cabret, but the beloved director might already be setting up the cast for his next project. According to Deadline, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci might join Robert De Niro in The Irishman. The film is an adaptation the non-fiction book I Heard You Paint Houses — written by Charles Brandt — which chronicles the life of mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, who supposedly killed Jimmy Hoffa. Hit the jump for what we know about the project so far along with a reason why this might not be Scorsese’s next film.
The Irishman is one of the many films that Scorsese is attached to. We first heard about the film back in 2008 and ever since, the project seemed forever stuck on the backburner. De Niro recently talked about how the film could be divided into two parts, with plans to play homage to Federico Fellini’s 8 ½ and La Dolce Vita:
“We have a more ambitious idea, hopefully, to make it a two-part type of film or two films. It’s an idea that came about from [screenwriter] Eric Roth to combine these movies using the footage from Paint Houses to do another kind of a [film that is] reminiscent of a kind of 8 1/2, La Dolce Vita, [a] certain kind of biographical, semi-biographical type of Hollywood movie – a director and the actor – based on things Marty and I have experienced and kind of overlapping them.”
I would personally love to see another Scorsese/De Niro collaboration: it’s been 15 years since 1995’s Casino. I’m even more interested in seeing this second film that De Niro talked about, just because it sounds so personal and artistic. So having Pacino and Pesci thrown into the mix only makes The Irishman sound better to me.
However, The Irishman may not be Scorsese’s next film. The director is still attached to direct a Frank Sinatra biopic, and he still has plans to film his long-in-the-works film about Jesuit priests, Silence. This rumored casting of Pacino and Pesci makes me think that The Irishman may really be his next film, but with Scorsese doing press for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, I’m sure we will know what he has planned next soon.
Here is the synopsis for I Heard You Paint Houses:
I HEARD YOU PAINT HOUSES is a fascinating account of a dark side of American history. The book’s title comes from the first words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank “the Irishman” Sheeran. To paint a house is to kill a man. The paint is the blood that splatters on the walls and floors.
Frank Sheeran lived a long, violent, passionate life. As a boy he took on older kids in bar fights so his dad could win free beer. During World War II he was a highly decorated infantryman with 411 days of active combat duty and a willingness to follow orders. “When an officer would tell you to take a couple of German prisoners back behind the line and for you to ‘hurry back,’ you did what you had to do.” He became a hustler and hit man, working for legendary crime boss Russell Bufalino and eventually becoming one of only two non-Italians on the FBI’s famous La Cosa Nostra list. He was also a truck driver who was made head of the Teamsters local in Wilmington, Delaware, by his good friend Jimmy Hoffa. When Hoffa disappeared on July 30, 1975, Sheeran became a leading suspect, and every serious study of the Hoffa disappearance alleges that Sheeran was there. [Amazon]