If it's getting close to September, then it's nearly Oscar season. This year will see a bounty of Oscar-bait films, from Brad Pitt in Ad Astra to Greta Gerwig's Little Women. But perhaps the hottest film going into the Oscar 2020 race won't be a big release to the movie houses. It's on Netflix, as The Irishman trailer promises Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci all in the same film.
Once upon a time, The Irishman was the sort of film that would have opened in every theater in America. It has all the hallmarks of a box office smash like The Godfather or Gangs of New York. Martin Scorsese is the mastermind behind films like Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, and The Last Temptation of Christ. Al Pacino has been nominated for Academy Awards since 1973, Robert De Niro since 1975, and Joe Pesci since 1981. Between the three of them, they've covered nearly every gangster movie of note in the last 50 years.
Now, the three of them are together in one film, based on the novel I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt. It chronicles the story of Jimmy Hoffa and the man who is suspected of killing him.
Check out the trailer:
Here's the film's official synopsis:
Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci star in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, an epic saga of organized crime in post-war America told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century. Spanning decades, the film chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history, the disappearance of legendary union boss Jimmy Hoffa, and offers a monumental journey through the hidden corridors of organized crime: its inner workings, rivalries and connections to mainstream politics.
The story revolves around Frank Sheeran (no relation to Ed, as far as anyone knows). But the real draw is the Hoffa disappearance. Hoffa was a labor union leader and president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from the mid-1950s through to the mid-1970s, when he abruptly disappeared one night in 1975 and was never found. He was declared legally dead in 1982 after seven years missing.
The Irishman has been a long-brewing passion project for Scorsese, who has talked about adapting I Heard You Paint Houses for over a decade. It finally got off the ground in 2014. Joe Pesci actually came out of retirement to do the film. (He's been retired from acting since 1999.) Al Pacino marveled that even though they both have been working in the film industry for 50 years, it was his first Scorsese film. As for Robert De Niro, he underwent a whole lot of digital de-aging to do the role of Sheeran, as the story covered decades of the man's life.
The Irishman does not yet have an official release date. It is expected to arrive in select theaters alongside the premiere on Netflix, most likely in December of 2019.