Ever since Robert De Niro confirmed production on long-gestating mob drama The Irishman, film fans have been excited by the thought of seeing him reunited on-screen with Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in the Martin Scorsese-directed project.
While it now seems that Pesci has withdrawn from what was due to be the Goodfellas actor’s first role in six years, it does look like the film will begin shooting early next year.
In an interview with Variety, production designer Dante Ferretti stated: “Theoretically we’ve talked about shooting this film next year in February or March.”
Rights to the film were snapped up by STX Entertainment at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in one of the more lucrative reported deals ($50 million). Also referred to as I Heard You Paint Houses, the film is based on the book by Charles Brandt which follows the “biggest mob hit in history”.
De Niro’s role will be that of notorious mobster Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran – worlds away from playing dirty grandpas.
The Irishman will mark the first collaboration between Scorsese and The Godfather actor Pacino. It’ll serve as the tenth time that De Niro has worked with the filmmaker.
Pesci’s most recent film was 2010 drama Love Ranch. Deaspite ‘repeatedly [telling] Scorsese no,’ the Casino director remains confident he can lure Pesci back.
Scorsese’s next film, Silence, stars Liam Neeson, Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield. It’ll be released int he UK on 6 January 2017.