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For as long as it's been talked about, The Irishman is an idea that's only gotten better with time. Unfortunately, this means the cast has aged even further from the point when the project was originally announced. Thankfully, Robert De Niro has some news that seems to indicate that recent technological advances will save the day.
While speaking on Empire Magazine's podcast, De Niro indicated not only that The Irishman is in some form of active development, but it's also looking at a high tech way of making him look younger. The legendary actor says as much in his statement below:
I’m working on ‘The Irishman’ with Marty Scorsese, and there are sections, earlier periods in the film, where we’re experimenting with how I can [look younger] like ‘Benjamin Button.’ Not only me, but the other actors too.
With Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino all looking to play a part in Martin Scorsese's long awaited crime drama, their roles have always had the added obstacle of requiring the actors to play themselves at various states of their lives. In particular, De Niro's role of Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran would require him to be able to play a hit man – which will undoubtedly require a certain degree of physicality. Even if Scorsese were to cheat with a mixture of De Niro's actual performance, as well as some movement work from a body double, the age of the actor is something to be considered when attempting to span the years with Sheeran's story.
Thankfully, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button did advance the field of "de-aging" actors to a point where anyone who wants to make a film that requires extensive age work won't have to worry too much about the limitations of physical makeup. To go one step further, the absolutely perfect de-aging job on the younger version of Michael Douglas' Hank Pym in Ant-Man has signaled that the age of de-aging may be upon us. Though with new solutions come new questions, and in this case one such question would involve the extent of the technology's effectiveness.
Using the Michael Douglas example, Peyton Reed had no problem taking Douglas' face back to the glory days of Wall Street, as the actor's face remains at somewhat the same shape. But would they have had just as easy of a task in front of them if they wanted to send his features back to the days of The China Syndrome? If not, would that same technology be ready to visually make Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, or Al Pacino the men that they once were in their hey day? While we ponder these questions, you can listen to the full interview with De Niro and his co-star from The Intern, Anne Hathaway, below.
The Intern is currently in theaters, and The Irishman is presumably in development for a possible 2016 start. Here's hoping this is the time that they're right.