Talk of Martin Scorsese directing a new gangster film, which would star not only Robert De Niro, but also other screen legends Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, has been around for a good while now.
Just last year De Niro revealed that “We have been trying to do [the film] for the last few years, and I think we will do it. It’s based on [the] book ‘I Heard You Paint Houses’ by Charles Brandt. It’s about a guy who .?.?. confessed that he killed Hoffa and Joe Gallo. I’m gonna play that character. That’s something I’m looking forward to very much .?.?. I think it will [happen] .?.?. we’re really working towards making it happen.”
Flash forward to today, and still nothing has been officially announced, but De Niro is confident the film is coming, and that shooting will begin next year. He told Digital Spy:
“We are doing it… We should be doing it sometime next year,” De Niro said. “We’re slowly, slowly getting it in place.”
Slowly getting it in place eh? Take as much time as you need, so long as this extremely exciting project actually happens.
De Niro was to Scorsese back in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s what Leonardo DiCaprio is to the director now. Scorsese made De Niro after the terrific Mean Streets, and then brought together De Niro and Pesci in the brutal Raging Bull in 1980. No one can forget how the pair worked together in mob films Goodfellas and Casino, and to then throw Pacino into the mix for this film too just makes it so special.
Titled The Irishman, the film will be based on the book, I Heard You Paint Houses. Here’s Amazon’s description of the book:
‘I heard you paint houses’ are the first words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank ‘the Irishman’ Sheeran. To paint a house is to kill a man. The paint is the blood that splatters on the wall and floors. In the course of nearly five years of recorded interviews Frank Sheeran confessed to Charles Brandt that he handled more than twenty-five hits for the Mob, and for his friend Hoffa.
Sheeran learned to kill in the US Army, where he saw an astonishing 411 days of active combat during World War 2. After returning home he became a hustler and a hit man, working for legenday crime boss Russell Bufalino. Eventually Sheeran would rise to a position of such prominence that he was named as one of only two non-Italians on a list of the twenty-six most wanted Mob figures.
When Bufalino ordered Sheeran to kill Hoffa, the Irishman did the deed, knowing that if he refused, he would have been killed himself.
Sheeran’s important and fascinating story includes brand new information on other famous murders, and provides rare insight into an infamous chapter in US and Mafia history. This is a page turner that is destined to become a true-crime classic.