Martin Scorsese Says ‘The Irishman’ Will Be Tonally Different from ‘Goodfellas’

     May 12, 2017


There’s a lot of anticipation surrounding Martin Scorsese’s next film, The Irishman, but don’t go expecting a Goodfellas redo. Indeed, The Irishman marks a return to the mob genre for the legendary filmmaker as it chronicles the life of 1950s hitman Frank Sheeran. Moreover, it reunites Scorsese with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, with Al Pacino also part of the cast. That’s an incredibly exciting combination, but it’s not simply Scorsese looking to go back to the well, as many have wondered just how similar The Irishman will be to the director’s other gangster films like Goodfellas and Casino.

In speaking with The Independent (via The Playlist), Scorsese says The Irishman will definitely have a distinct tonal vibe:

“I think this is different, I think it is. I admit that there are – you know, Goodfellas and Casino have a certain style that I created for them – it’s on the page in the script actually.  Putting Goodfellas together was almost like an afterthought, at times I was kind of rushing, I felt I’d already done it because I’d played it all out in terms of the camera moves and the editing and that sort of thing. The style of the picture, the cuts, the freeze-frames, all of this was planned way in advance, but here it’s a little different. The people are also older in The Irishman, it’s certainly more about looking back, a retrospective so to speak of a man’s life and the choices that he’s had to make.”


Image via Warner Bros.

That’s fascinating territory not just for Scorsese but also for that cast, and in terms of theme it sounds like Scorsese is going very introspective for this one:

“…what makes a person this way, what makes them become a professional killer,” Scorsese says of his attraction to the project. “It’s about love, betrayal, remorse and the sadness and tragedy, ultimately, of a life led that way. And it’s about mercy too, I don’t know if there’ll be any of that in the picture yet, there might be.”

Scorsese and Co. are gearing up to start production in August, so there’s time yet to hone this thing in, and the project will be set up at Netflix for release in 2019 with an awards-qualifying run in theaters. Scorsese has been on fire lately with the visceral and bombastic The Wolf of Wall Street and the challengingly masterful Silence, so I really can’t wait to see what becomes of this.

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