Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel And More Are Looking To Join Scorsese, DeNiro And Pacino In The Irishman

Joe Pesci in Goodfellas

It's been a while since Martin Scorsese directed a movie centered around organized crime, but the acclaimed director is jumping back into that world next by helming The Irishman, which will revolve around the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. We've known for a while that frequent Scorsese collaborator Robert de Niro and Al Pacino would headline the movie, but now the news has dropped that not only is Joe Pesci finally confirmed to appear in The Irishman, but the production is also eyeing Harvey Keitel and Bobby Cannavale for recruitment, too.

Joe Pesci had long been rumored to appear in The Irishman (Robert de Niro said back in 2015 that Pesci was on board), but the actor had said numerous times that he would not appear. It's only thanks to a deal made this week that we can count on him reuniting with Martin Scorsese and Robert de Niro after more than two decades, last working with the two in Casino. Pesci will play Russell Bufalino, a Pennsylvanian mafia boss who is suspected to have played a role in Jimmy Hoffa's disappearance. As for Harvey Keitel and Bobby Cannavale, Deadline reports that they are currently in talks to join The Irishman, but no deals have been finalized yet.

Those familiar with Martin Scorsese's work know that Joe Pesci has done very well playing intimidating criminals. Though Pesci first worked with Scorsese and Robert de Niro on Raging Bull, a boxing drama, it was Pesci's turn as Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas that drew universal acclaim. Pesci's last major role was reprising Leo Getz in 1998's Lethal Weapon 4 (though he cameoed in 2006's The Good Shepherd), so seeing him back for The Irishman is most welcome. As for Harvey Keitel and Bobby Cannavale, both have their own experiences playing criminals; Keitel through movies like Bugsy and Pulp Fiction, while Cannavale played Gyp Rosetti in Boardwalk Empire Season 3.

Based off the book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, The Irishman will reportedly see Al Pacino playing Jimmy Hoffa, the Teamsters president who disappeared in 1975, and Robert de Niro playing Frank Sheeran, who claimed on his deathbed to have murdered Hoffa. Initially The Irishman was supposed to be released by Paramount, but after the studio backed out, Netflix grabbed the distribution rights, giving the streaming service an exclusive Scorsese movie. Scorsese has also said that he hopes to use CGI to de-age de Niro in The Irishman, similar to what's been seen in several Marvel movies and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

The Irishman will begin shooting in the New York area next month and is expected to continue until December, but a release date hasn't been announced yet. While we wait for more news on its progress, check out what else is being released on Netflix for the remainder of the year in our handy guide.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.