After months and months of speculation and rumour, it’s now finally official – Joe Pesci is coming out of retirement to star in Martin Scorsese’s gangster epic The Irishman.
Pesci, who turned 74 this year, hasn’t appeared in a live-action role in a widely-released film since 2006’s The Good Shepherd, which was directed by Robert DeNiro. It’s understood that Pesci was offered the role of Russell Bufalino in The Irishman close to fifty times – and that Robert DeNiro had to convince him to sign on for the role in the end.
It isn’t just Martin Scorsese, Joe Pesci and Robert DeNiro reteaming either. Al Pacino has also signed on to star in the film, with Scorsese aiming to have the film out before the end of 2018. As well as this, Harvey Keitel – whom Scorsese directed in Taxi Driver and Mean Streets – is also said to be close to signing on.
So, in other words, it’s a Scorsese / ’70s crime film reunion. Amazing stuff.
What’s most interesting about all of this, however, is the fact that Netflix are financing the film to the tune of somewhere in the region of €100,000,000 – that’s one-hundred-million – and fully expect the film to make its way into the Oscar race in 2019. The film will be first released on Netflix, and will unlikely receive any kind of a major theatrical release.
Production is due to kick off in August, but don’t expect to see any trailers or the like any time soon.