Joe Pesci has officially joined the star-studded cast of Martin Scorsese’s mob epic, The Irishman. As reported by Deadline, the Goodfellas actor finally acquiesced after repeatedly turning down the role of Mafia boss Russell Bufalino, who has been long suspected of having a hand in the Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance. It’s something of a comeback role for Pesci, who has only appeared in six films over the last two decades.
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Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are already attached to star in the film based the real-life story of mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, who alleged shortly before his death in 2003 that he was the gunman behind the controversial murder of Jimmy Hoffa. The script was adapted by Steve Zaillian (Schindler’s List) from Charles Brandt’s 2005 non-fiction novel, I Heard You Paint Houses. De Niro and possibly Pacino will be digitally aged down to allow for decades of flashback scenes without having to hire younger actors or use prosthetics.
The Irishman will mark the first time Pacino and Scorsese have worked together, and the first time De Niro and the director have worked together since 1995’s Casino. As Deadline notes, it’s also the first time the Italian legends have all shot a film together.
Shooting for The Irishman is scheduled to begin next month and will continue through December. Back in February, news broke that the film will likely be exclusive to Netflix for a 2019 release, but it’s still expected to get a small theatrical release to qualify for Oscar.