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First look: Netflix’s The Irishman to open New York Film Festival

Staff Editor

Reading time: 10 mins

Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman will open the New York Film Festival this September, and now, we have our first look at the long-awaited film.

Based on the real life of gangster Frank “The Irishman” Sheehan, a reputed hitman thought to be involved in the murder of Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa, the film is adapted by Steve Zaillian from Charles Brandt’s book, I Heard You Paint Houses.

The film is described as an epic saga of organised crime in post-war America told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th Century. Spanning decades, the film chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history, the disappearance of legendary Union President Jimmy Hoffa, and offers a monumental journey through the hidden corridors of organised crime: its inner workings, rivalries and connections to mainstream politics.

With Martin Scorsese at the helm, that would be enough to get anyone’s attention, but the Goodfellas director has assembled one heck of a cast, from Robert De Niro as the titular mobster and Al Pacino to Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Jack Huston, Bobby Canavale, The Sopranos’ Kathrine Narducci and Anna Paquin.

With all that star wattage, the film has been expected to make top billing at a festival, but with no word of the movie at either Venice or Toronto, there was speculation as to when or where the film would drop. Now, Netflix has confirmed that the $200 crime flick will open the New York Film Festival on 27th September.

“The Irishman is so many things: rich, funny, troubling, entertaining and, like all great movies, absolutely singular,” the festival’s director Kent Jones said in a statement. “It’s the work of masters, made with a command of the art of cinema that I’ve seen very rarely in my lifetime, and it plays out at a level of subtlety and human intimacy that truly stunned me. All I can say is that the minute it was over my immediate reaction was that I wanted to watch it all over again.”

“I greatly admire the bold and visionary selections that the festival presents to audiences year after year,” Scorsese added. “The festival is critical to bringing awareness to cinema from around the world. I am grateful to have the opportunity to premiere my new picture in New York alongside my wonderful cast and crew.”

The film will then go on to launch globally on Netflix in the autumn. Here’s your first look at the film’s cast in action:

Watch: First teaser for Netflix’s The Irishman

25th February 2019

The first teaser trailer has landed for Netflix’s The Irishman, and it tells us both absolutely nothing and everything we need to know.

Based on the real life of gangster Frank “The Irishman” Sheehan, a reputed hitman thought to be involved in the murder of Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa, the film is adapted by Steve Zaillian from Charles Brandt’s book, I Heard You Paint Houses. With Martin Scorsese at the helm, that would be enough to get anyone’s attention, but the Goodfellas director has assembled one heck of a cast, from Robert De Niro as the titular mobster and Al Pacino to Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Jack Huston, Bobby Canavale, The Sopranos’ Kathrine Narducci and Anna Paquin.

The teaser, which was tellingly dropped during last night’s Oscars ceremony, gives us a brief tease of a reunion between Pacino and De Niro, but mostly just reminds us of just how star-studded that ensemble is. Released in cinemas and on Netflix this autumn, that’s all we need for now to get excited – but you can expect to see more in the coming months. Here’s the teaser:

Anna Paquin joins Scorsese’s The Irishman

5th October 2017

Anna Paquin has joined the cast of The Irishman.

Martin Scorsese’s gangster flick is based on the real life of gangster Frank “The Irishman” Sheehan, a reputed hitman thought to be involved in the murder of Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa.

Adapted by Steve Zaillian from Charles Brandt’s book, I Heard You Paint Houses, and, it stars Robert De Niro as the titular mobster, with Al Pacino co-starring. Since it was announced back in 2008, the project has moved around from Paramount, with Netflix snapping up the worldwide rights to the project. The cast list, meanwhile, has gotten even more impressive, adding Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Jack Huston, Bobby Canavale and The Sopranos’ Kathrine Narducci.

THR reports that Paquin will play Peggy, the daughter of De Niro’s Sheeran. The Emmy and Oscar winner is no stranger to TV, with True Blood, Bellevue and History’s recent Roots remake under her belt.

She will also be joined by Gary Basaraba (Suburbicon) as Frank “Fitz” Fitzsimmons, the leader of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Other new cast additions include J.C. Mackenzie and Craig Vincent.

Kathrine Narducci joins The Irishman

22nd September 2017

The Irishman just got a welcome dose of female talent with Kathrine Narducci joining the cast.

Martin Scorsese’s follow-up to Silence is adapted by Steve Zaillian from Charles Brandt’s book, I Heard You Paint Houses, and based on the real life of gangster Frank “The Irishman” Sheehan, a reputed hitman thought to be involved in the murder of Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa.

First announced back in 2008, it will star Robert De Niro as the titular mobster, with Pacino also attached. Since then, the project has moved around from Paramount, with Netflix snapping up the worldwide rights to the project. In the meantime, the cast list has gotten even more impressive, adding Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, and Jack Huston to its line-up.

Now, hot on the heels of UK character actor Stephen Graham, the show has added a female star to its list: Kathrine Narducci. Her role is not yet known, but Narducci has crime credentials to match The Irishman’s biggest names, with The Sopranos on her CV. She is no stranger to De Niro, either, acting alongside him in 1993’s ‪A Bronx Tale‬ anr HBO’s Wizard of Lies.

Stephen Graham and Domenick Lombardozzi join The Irishman

15th September 2017

Stephen Graham and Domenick Lombardozzi are the latest actors to join Martin Scorsese’s ‪The Irishman‬.

The director’s follow-up to Silence is adapted by Steve Zaillian from Charles Brandt’s book, I Heard You Paint Houses, and based on the real life of gangster Frank “The Irishman” Sheehan, a reputed hitman thought to be involved in the murder of Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa.

First announced back in 2008, it will star Robert De Niro as the titular mobster, with Pacino also attached. Since then, the project has moved around from Paramount, with Netflix snapping up the worldwide rights to the project. In the meantime, the cast list has gotten even more impressive, adding Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, and Jack Huston to its line-up. Now, a new wave of talent has stepped onboard, reports Deadline, with Lombardozzi playing Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, head of the Genovese crime family. Britain’s own Stephen Graham has also been signed as Tony “Pro” Provenzano, a teamster who rose to the top of Genova’s crime ranks to become a close associate of Hoffa in the 1970s and was one of the last men to see him alive

One of the UK’s most versatile character actors, Graham was most recently seen in ITV’s Little Boy Blue and BBC One’s Taboo. He’s now shooting a Shane Meadows miniseries The Virtues. Lombardozzi will next be seen in Liam Neeson revenge flick Hard Powder, directed by Hans Petter Moland, and has also appeared in Boardwalk Empire and ‪Bridge of Spies‬.

They join other new arrivals Jeremy Luke and Joseph Russo, who will play the Andretta Brothers, associates of the Genovese crime family and alleged assassins. For them, this is something of a homecoming: they both star in Netflix series Small Shots, in which they play actors – wait for it – trying to audition for a Martin Scorsese film.

Joe Pesci joins Pacino and De Niro in Scorsese’s ‪The Irishman‬

13th July 2017

The ‪Goodfellas‬ gang are getting back together and then some, as Martin Scorsese’s new film assembles a cast to die for.

‪The Irishman, the director’s follow-up to The Silence, was already set to be something of a big deal. Adapted by Steve Zaillian from Charles Brandt’s book, I Heard You Paint Houses, it’s based on the real life of gangster Frank “The Irishman” Sheehan. First announced back in 2008, it will star Robert De Niro as the titular mobster, with Pacino also attached.‬

Since then, the project has moved around from Paramount, with Netflix most recently reported as snapping up the worldwide rights to the project.

Netflix. Scorsese. De Niro. Pacino. Just when you think all those names can’t possibly be involved in the same project, along comes Joe Pesci to reunite with his Goodfellas co-star De Niro. Pesci reportedly said no multiple times to the role in Marty’s latest, but has now agreed to play Russell Bufalino, a Mafia boss from Pennsylvnia who is thought to have had a hand in the notorious disappearance of mobster Jimmy Hoffa.

Harvey Keitel and Bobby Cannavale are also in talks for the project, reports Deadline.

The result is a cast of gangster movie fans’ dreams, marking the ninth time that De Niro and the Taxi Driver director have worked together and the third time that Pesci and Marty have worked together.

‪The Irishman begins shooting in August in New York, with production running through to December. The movie is expected to get a limited theatrical release from Netflix to qualify it for the Oscars.‬

Netflix nabs Martin Scorsese’s ‪The Irishman‬ with Robert De Niro

22nd February 2017

Martin Scorsese’s new film is reportedly heading to Netflix.

‪The Irishman, the director’s follow-up to The Silence, was already set to be something of a big deal. Adapted by Steve Zaillian from Charles Brandt’s book, I Heard You Paint Houses, it’s based on the real life of gangster Frank “The Irishman” Sheehan. First announced back in 2008, it will star Robert De Niro as the title mobster – the ninth time that he and the Taxi Driver director have worked together. ‬

Paramount Pictures backed the movie initially, snapping up the North American rights. With the project’s budget pegged at around $100 million, Gaston Pavlovich of Mexico’s Fabrica de Cine was fully financing the production. The project quickly caught the industry’s eye, with Fabrica putting the project up for sale at Cannes last year, prompting a heated bidding war between Lionsgate, Fox and Universal. STX emerged with the international rights, spending around $50 million in the process. 

Since then, Paramount has released The Silence in cinemas. The historical drama, which starred Andrew Garfield and cost $46 million, was something of a flop, taking just $7 million at the US box office. Now, at the start of 2017, Paramount CEO Brad Grey has stepped down from his position, which has led to renewed talks about the Scorsese project.

“Scorsese’s movie is a risky deal, and Paramount is not in the position to take risks,” a source close to the deal exclusively told IndieWire.

As a result, Netflix has stepped in to buy up the world rights to the whole thing – a deal that will likely see the streaming giant trump STX and Media Asia’s previous agreements, which would have given those companies the international and Chinese rights respectively.

“This way, he can make the project he wants,” the unnamed source told the site.

Netflix has not officially commented on the deal, but the move is a major one for the streaming giant, marking the kind of project that would likely put it on track for Oscar nominations and wins. Indeed, the production still has no start date, but it is understood to be aiming for a 2019 day-and-date release in the US, which would qualify the movie for the Academy Awards.

Al Pacino is also reportedly in negotiations for the project. Pacino and De Niro in a drama about a real life gangster directed by Martin Scorsese and produced by Netflix? ‪The Irishman‬ just went from being a big deal to an even bigger milestone in the ever-changing world of movies and streaming.

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