Martin Scorsese’s latest mob movie The Irishman has added Joe Pesci to the cast. Pesci joins Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Ray Romano in the adaptation of Charles Brandt’s non-fiction book I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran and the Inside Story of the Mafia, the Teamsters, and the Final Ride by Jimmy Hoffa.
The movie, which has been written by Steve Zaillian (Schindler’s List, Gangs of New York, American Gangster) will focus on Frank Sheeran, Hoffa’s hitman. Hoffa is being played by Pacino, while Romano will play a lawyer for the mobsters. Shooting on the Netflix production is expected to start in August.
“The Irishman will mark the first time Pacino and Scorsese will have worked together and the first time all the Italian greats are on the big screen together,” said a Deadline report. After turning down the role numerous times, Pesci has agreed to play Russell Bufalino, the head of the Bufalino family and a suspect in Hoffa’s disappearance in 1975. Pesci has appeared in Scorsese’s Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995). Pesci’s last screen appearance was in Love Ranch (2010), and he has also signed up for a role in the upcoming 1970s-set Ashbury Park.
The Irishman is aiming for an August 2019 release. It was picked up by Netflix after the Paramount studio demurred from bankrolling the rumoured $100 upwards million production, which will use digital technology to make Pacino and De Niro look like their younger selves.
Scorsese is also teaming up again with Leonardo DiCaprio for an adaptation of David Grann’s true crime book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. The movie will go into production after The Irishman sometime in 2018.
“The story, set in the 1920s, focuses on a string of murders of members of the Osage nation in Oklahoma after oil was discovered beneath their land,” said a Variety report. “The chilling series of slayings was one of the fledgling FBI’s first major homicide investigations.”