One fleeting glance into the We Got This Covered archives for The Irishman really tells the story for Martin Scorsese’s long-gestating passion project, having lingered on the edge of development since 2010.
Since then, the project’s stop-start nature led many to believe that The Irishman would never get going in earnest, but that all looks set to change on the Croisette. According to Deadline, the dormant mob thriller has attracted something of a Martin Scorsese dream team in Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci (Goodfellas/Casino), not to mention the inimitable Al Pacino. The outlet notes that a deal is coming together very quickly, in a casting swoop that could make for one of the biggest at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Should that potentially lucrative deal place – The Irishman is reportedly tethered with a production budget north of $100 million, due to its use of Benjamin Button-esque tech – Scorsese’s feature would be based on Charles Brandt’s true-crime book I Heard You Paint Houses. First published in 2003, it chronicles the deathbed story of mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, who developed a reputation once it emerged that he held insider knowledge relating to the disappearance and subsequent death of Jimmy Hoffa.
As current holders of the project, Paramount will seek international buyers as the festival wears on and, if De Niro, Pesci and Pacino all board, it could make for an intense bidding war between studios.
Now that The Irishman is finally beginning to display some tangible progress in production, look for more news to emerge as Cannes Film Festival continues through into next week. Martin Scorsese, meanwhile, has an Oscar frontrunner emerging later this year in Silence, starring Liam Neeson, Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield.