Netflix has released the first trailer of one of its biggest original films to date: Martin Scorsese’s `The Irishman'. The film stars Robert De Niro as mob hitman Frank Sheeran and Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa.
De Niro has been attached to the project for more than a decade, and Netflix picked up the film in 2017 as part of a larger strategy to buy up prestige-style dramas for its platform. Netflix wants to show that it’s a legitimate player in Hollywood, which has looked at the company warily as it’s worked to upend the film and theatre industry.
The adaptation has been a passion project for Scorsese. It’s an adaptation of Charles Brandt’s 2004 book “I Heard You Paint Houses”, which is about the life of Sheeran, a World War II veteran who becomes a mob hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer introduces Sheeran as he meets Jimmy Hoffa, the president of the Teamsters, and as he goes about on his work.
“The Irishman” marks the iconic director’s return to the organized crime genre after 2006’s “The Departed,” which took home the Oscar for Best Picture.
Whether this new Netflix production is Academy Awards material — or even qualifies — is yet to be determined, but the suspenseful trailer is giving fans what they’ve long yearned for: A chance to see three of Scorsese’s most iconic wiseguys together in one film: Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.
De Niro and Pacino are joined by “Goodfellas” actor Joe Pesci, who hasn’t acted alongside De Niro since 1995’s “Casino,” as Sicilian-American mafioso Russell Bufalino.
The film also stars Harvey Keitel, Bobby Cannavale, Anna Paquin and Ray Romano.
With a budget of a cool $160 million, Scorsese spared no expense on special effects, including digitally de-ageing the actors, who must play their characters in a range of ages.
“The Irishman” will debut this year at the New York Film Festival beginning late September, and will release widely in theatres (date TBD) before eventually making it to Netflix.