If Fox Searchlight’s acquisition of Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation was the story of Sundance, then one of the biggest deals emerging from the Croisette involved Martin Scorsese’s long-in-development mob drama The Irishman, after landing a $50 million dollar deal at STX Entertainment.
Such a huge figure comes packing huge expectations though, and it’s little wonder Scorsese’s latest creative venture has garnered buzz, given old cohorts Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci (Goodfellas/Casino/Raging Bull) had been linked with key roles alongside Al Pacino.
It’s certainly a tantalizing trio, but The Hollywood Reporter reveals Joe Pesci is unlikely to put pen to paper, having all but retired from acting since last appearing in Taylor Hackford’s Love Ranch all the way back in 2010. Plus, in those intervening years, it’s understood that Scorsese hasn’t been the only director to offer Pesci a gig. The actor has ultimately turned down the lot, and it looks all but set that The Irishman will join the list now, barring a sudden change of heart.
Based on Charles Brandt’s true-crime book I Heard You Paint Houses, The Irishman charts the deathbed story of mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, who found himself in the crosshairs once it emerged that he held insider knowledge relating to the disappearance and subsequent death of Jimmy Hoffa.
Before flirting with production deals at Fox and Universal, The Irishman has finally found a home at STX Entertainment, and though Joe Pesci may not feature, Martin Scorsese’s mob drama has piqued our curiosity nonetheless.