Maybe I just don’t pay attention to films like I used to, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen a trailer for a gangster film that looks good enough to invest time in. Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman is just that film and the trailer for it was recently released and it features Netflix’s new de-aging technology which, honestly, looks pretty fantastic. I didn’t even notice that the stars had been de-aged until I started writing this article. VFX have come a long way since 2010’s Tron: Legacy which features a de-aged Jeff Bridges.
The Irishman, based on the novel I Hear You Paint Houses, stars stalwarts of the gangster drama Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, and Joe Pesci as well as Anna Paquin, Ray Romano, and Bobby Cannavale. Each actor gets a moment in the explosive trailer. We get to see these veteran actors do great things under veteran director Scorsese who always manages to make things feel epic even in bite-sized trailer form.
De Niro plays mafia hitman Frank Sheehan who was instrumental in Jimmy Hoffa’s (Pacino) disappearance and who was said to have a role in JFK assassination. Pesci plays mob boss Russel Bufalino who hired the hit on Hoffa. The film spans decades of Sheehan’s life in the mob. (The case on Hoffa and what exactly happened to him, of course, remains an unsolved mystery.)
The film was adapted to the screen by Steve Zaillian and three-time Oscar winner and frequent Scorsese collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker is editing. This marks the ninth time Scorsese has directed De Niro. This only the first time, however, he’s directed Pacino, which sounds weird to me, but it is true.
The Irishman is set to open at the 2019 New York Film Festival where it will have its world premiere. It’s also Scorsese’s second Netflix release of the year following the Bob Dylan documentary Rolling Thunder Revue, which is currently streaming on Netflix. The Irishman is one of Netflix’s major Oscar hopefuls this awards season. Judging by the trailer, it looks pretty epic.
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