Back in May, we reported that Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman was pulling together financing ahead of Cannes so it could be sold to distributors. The story is based on Charles Brandt’s true-crime book I Heard You Paint Houses, which tells the deathbed story of mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, who had insider knowledge about the disappearance and death of Jimmy Hoffa. Screenwriter Steve Zaillian, who previously teamed with Scorsese on Gangs of New York, wrote the screenplay.
Now Deadline is reporting that the movie is eyeing a 2017 production for a late 2018 domestic release date. In May we reported that the film might be visual effects heavy as it could employ some Benjamin Button-ing of its lead actors, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, so they could act in the flashback scenes. It’s worth noting that while our earlier stories said that Joe Pesci was attached, but it looks like he may have decided to stay in retirement since Deadline’s story makes no mention of the actor.
Scorsese’s new film, Silence, still doesn’t have an official release date, but it’s supposed to come out sometime this year (although as the months wind down and we have yet to see a trailer, I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets pushed to 2017). But it’s good to see that Scorsese shows no signs of slowing down, and while De Niro and Pacino’s individual projects have been fairly lackluster over the years, pairing them with Scorsese is a whole new ball game.
Here’s a look at the synopsis for Brandt’s book, I Heard You Paint Houses via Amazon:
The first words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank “the Irishman” Sheeran were, “I heard you paint houses.” To paint a house is to kill a man. The paint is the blood that splatters on the walls and floors. In the course of nearly five years of recorded interviews Frank Sheeran confessed to Charles Brandt that he handled more than twenty-five hits for the mob, and for his friend Hoffa. Sheeran learned to kill in the U.S. Army, where he saw an astonishing 411 days of active combat duty in Italy during World War II. After returning home he became a hustler and hit man, working for legendary crime boss Russell Bufalino. Eventually he would rise to a position of such prominence that in a RICO suit then-U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani would name him as one of only two non-Italians on a list of 26 top mob figures. When Bufalino ordered Sheeran to kill Hoffa, he did the deed, knowing that if he had refused he would have been killed himself. Sheeran’s important and fascinating story includes new information on other famous murders, and provides rare insight to a chapter in American history. Charles Brandt has written a page-turner that is destined to become a true crime classic.