Netflix and STX Entertainment have revealed the first trailer for Martin Scorsese‘s highly-anticipated “The Irishman,” starring Academy Award winners Robert De Niro (“Taxi Driver”) and Al Pacino (“The Godfather”). The film follows a mob hitman who recalls his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa. It stars Pacino as Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa, De Niro as their right-hand man, Frank Sheeran, and Joe Pesci (“Casino”) as Pennsylvania mob boss Russell Bufalino.
On Monday, Film at Lincoln Center announced the feature as its opening night selection at this year’s New York Film Festival. It will be the first time a Scorsese film opens the fest. Scorsese returns to theaters with “The Irishman,” an adaptation of Charles Brandt’s nonfiction book “I Heard You Paint Houses.” The script is written by Steven Zaillian, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind 1993’s “Schindler’s List.” The film also stars Anna Paquin, Jesse Plemmons, Harvey Keitel and Ray Romano.
Scorsese won his directing Oscar for his Boston-set crime drama “The Departed,” which won a total of four Academy Awards including for adapted screenplay, directing, editing and best picture. He has directed some of cinema’s most influential features that include “Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull,” “Goodfellas,” “Casino” and “Gangs of New York.” His films generally lean toward the New York landscape, fitting for its NYFF premiere. Now with Netflix backing, Scorsese’s latest looks to capitalize on a campaign through awards season.
The streaming platform struck gold with Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” which won three Academy Awards in foreign language film, directing and cinematography. Scorsese’s film could very well spring forward into the Oscars discussion if Netflix play their cards right again. Earlier this year, his Bob Dylan documentary, “Rolling Thunder Revue,” also his the streaming platform. His latest features include the spiritual drama “Silence” and 2013’s “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
In talk with A24’s “A Bigger Canvas” podcast, Scorsese spoke with director Joanna Hogg about the de-aging effects in the film. A reason the film stayed in post-production for so long was due to extensive visual effects work on its two leading men. The film will tinker with timelines, revealing things from the past that requires taut VFX work to bring Pacino and De Niro back three decades younger. The director was keen on getting the tricky visuals up to par so that the visual transition and comparisons onscreen are as seamless as can be.
“The Irishman” will premiere on September 27 at Alice Tully Hall at the 57th New York Film Festival. The fest runs from September 27- October 13. The film will also have a limited, Oscar-qualifying theatrical run prior to hitting Netflix streaming in the fall. Producing the film are Scorsese, De Niro, Randall Emmett, Jane Rosenthal, Emma Tillinger Koskoff and Irwin Winkler.