One of the greatest American film directors is returning to the genre that he is best known for. Media streaming service Netflix recently announced an agreement with Martin Scorsese to produce The Irishman, a movie about the life of a hitman who works for a Mafia family, and who may have been involved in the mysterious disappearance of labor union leader James Riddle Hoffa.
Paramount Pictures was the first studio that considered producing The Irishman, a project that Scorsese had planned for years. What is known about the film thus far is that it will feature an all-star cast of actors who have previously worked with Scorsese. The lead actor for this production is Robert De Niro; he stars as Frank Sheeran. Other actors will include Harvey Keitel, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino.
It is interesting to note that The Irishman is based on a biographical book about Sheeran’s life as hitman. The episodes of his younger years will be played by De Niro; this will be made possible thanks to visual effects digitally rendered by Industrial Light and Magic. Scorsese has retained master cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, who worked with the director on The Wolf of Wall Street.
Scorsese fans are excited to learn that he is once again making a film about organized crime in America. This particular story is based on a book written by Charles Brandt and published in 2003. The title of the book, “I Heard You Paint Houses,” is euphemistic; in the Mafia slang of the late 1970s, “painting houses” means carrying out contract assassinations. Sheeran served as an infantryman during World War II. He saw combat at Anzio, Monte Cassino and other Italian towns where he learned about the structure of crime families.
Back home as a war veteran, Sheeran put his combat skills to work for the Mafia. He mostly worked with Jimmy Hoffa in the Teamsters union, and he allegedly carried out hits on his behalf. Sheeran has also confessed that he was responsible for the Hoffa disappearance, but this is a disputed fact since the case has gone cold and inconclusive.
The book is being adapted for the screen by the same writer who worked on Moneyball. Entertainment industry analysts believe that Netflix is looking to produce a film that will be worthy of an Oscar, which would explain why the company is bankrolling this Scorsese project.