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UCOMM Sneak Peak: Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa

Super-group of mobster movie legends come together for Scorsese's movie, The Irishman

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by Kate Hogan on
Nov 29, 2017

Only Martin Scorsese could get together a super-group of mobster movie legends like Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Robert De Niro. He’s done that with his new movie, The Irishman.

The Irishman is based on I Heard You Paint Houses, a true crime book about the exploits of the mob boss and suspected prolific assassin Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran. Sheeran, played by Robert De Niro, was deeply involved in some of the most legendary crimes of the 1970s. The title of the book came from Sheeran’s first meeting with long vanished Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa, played by Al Pacino. Hoffa told Sheeran, “I heard you paint houses”, code for acknowledging the Irishman was a hit man. Sheeran replied yes and added, “I also do my own plumbing”, meaning he disposed of the bodies as well. Joe Pesci will play Russell Bufalino, the mafia don who allegedly ordered Sheeran to kill Hoffa.

The Irishman was shot in multiple locations all over the tristate area, especially in New York. On September 25, the crew shot at the Roadway Inn in Huntington Station, and on October 2, a crew filmed a small airplane taking off and landing at Brookhaven Calabro Airport in Shirley. There were also production crews at a construction firm in Seville Central Mix Corp.’s plant in Lawrence, and a former Pathmark Building in Baldwin. A boat was even blown up in Hempstead Harbor. The film provided many jobs for local IASTSE and Teamsters members.

The perspective of the movie will be Sheeran as an old man, looking back on his life and all that he had done. In order to tell the story more realistically, Scorsese is teaming up with George Lucas’ VFX company, Industrial Light, and Magic, to utilize the same types of effects used on Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button so that De Niro can be digitally aged to look younger in the flashback scenes. He could appear as young as 30 years old in some of the flashbacks.

There is no official premiere date for the movie yet, but production is expected to wrap in December. Because of the extensive post-production work that will be involved, the earliest possible release will be in 2019. The movie will also be skipping theaters and head straight to Netflix. The reason? Netflix was the only one who could afford the budget, everyone else backed out. 

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