Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’ Set for International Premiere as Closing Night Gala at London Film Festival

"The Irishman"

Martin Scorsese‘s anticipated mob drama, “The Irishman” is set to get its international premiere at this year’s BFI London Film Festival (LFF). The Academy Award-winning director will be heading to London to be present for the premiere, along with the film’s cast. “The Irishman” stars Oscar winners Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in the story about a mob hitman (De Niro) who recollects his involvement in the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). The British Film Institute announced its Closing Night gala selection in a press release Monday morning.

Martin Scorsese, director commented “I’m extremely honoured to be having the International Premiere of The Irishman at the closing night of the BFI London Film Festival. This picture was many years in the making. It’s a project that Robert De Niro and I started talking about a long time ago, and we wanted to make it the way it needed to be made. It’s also a picture that all of us could only have made at this point in our lives. We’re all very excited to be bringing The Irishman to London.”

Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director said “What an immense cinephile thrill it is to close the 63rd BFI London Film Festival with the International Premiere of Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. British Film Institute Fellow Scorsese is one of the true greats of cinema – as both a creator and a tireless champion of preservation and film history – and here he and his creative team have delivered an epic of breathtakingly audacious scale and complexity, exploring relationships of trust and betrayal, regret and remorselessness, which dominated a period of American history. This is a major occasion for film lovers and I cannot wait to share this film with UK audiences.”

Credit: Film at Lincoln Center

“The Irishman” is an adaptation of Charles Brandt’s novel, “I Heard You Paint Houses,” and was written for the screen by Oscar-winning screenwriter Steven Zaillian (“Schindler’s List”). He reunites with Scorsese since penning for the filmmaker’s 2002 feature, “Gangs of New York.”

Last week, the film was selected to world premiere at the New York Film Festival as the Opening Night gala. “The Irishman” will premiere September 27 at Alice Tully Hall at the 57th New York Film Festival. Its London Film Festival debut will come just two weeks apart from its world premiere in New York. BFI also announced there will be simultaneous screenings of Scorsese’s film taking place in theaters across the UK.

LFF is slated to bring it 225 features across 77 countries, in 14 theaters this year. In early July, the festival announced the European premiere of Armando Iannucci’s “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” starring BAFTA winner Dev Patel, as its Opening night gala. The BFI London Film Festival runs October 2-13. The full festival lineup will be announced on August 29.

What do you think of “The Irishman”‘s festival season anticipation? With special galas slated for Scorsese’s film in NY and London, what are your predictions for its awards season potential? Comment below!