After delivering Shutter Island, Hugo, The Wolf of Wall Street and Silence to moviegoers this decade, Martin Scorsese is jumping back into the world of organized crime with The Irishman. This week brought confirmation that Joe Pesci will indeed by starring in The Irishman alongside his Goodfellas costar Robert de Niro and Al Pacino, but now there's word that these men will be joined by Ray Romano, who will be playing an unscrupulous attorney.
According to THR, Ray Romano will appear in The Irishman as Bill Bufalino, a Teamster lawyer with ties to the mob, and also a member of the same crime family as Russell Bufalino, who will be played by Joe Pesci. However, it's worth noting that Bill and Russell reportedly were not first cousins in real life despite being publicly presented as such, though they could still have been distantly related. Romano previously worked with Martin Scorsese on the HBO series Vinyl, but The Irishman makes their first big screen collaboration.
While Ray Romano is best known for leading the CBS sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, he's enjoyed success in other areas following the series' end. In the world of movies, he's continued voicing Manny the mammoth in the Ice Age franchise, and he's also appeared in Funny People and Rob the Mob. On TV, he starred as Joe Tranelli from 2009-2011 in Men of a Certain Age, he played Hank Rizzoli in Parenthood from 2012-2015, and he appeared in Vinyl's only season as Zak Yankovich. Next month he'll star as Rick Moreweather in Epix's Get Shorty TV adaptation, but seeing him in a Martin Scorsese crime movie sounds especially intriguing.
While no specific plot details for The Irishman have been revealed yet, the movie is based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, which was about criminal Frank Sheehan and him claiming on his death bed to have killed Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa, who disappeared in 1975 and was declared legally dead in 1982. Robert de Niro will play Sheeran, while Al Pacino will play Hoffa. Harvey Keitel and Bobby Cannavale are also in negotiations to join the cast, but their deals haven't been finalized yet. While The Irishman was originally supposed to be released in theaters by Paramount, those plans broke down, and now it will be released exclusively on Netflix. Martin Scorsese has also expressed interest in using CGI to de-age de Niro and others in the movie, which would explain why the budget supposedly exceeds $100 million.
The Irishman is scheduled two begin shooting next month, but it doesn't have a release date assigned yet. You can currently see Ray Romano in The Big Sick, which is now playing in theaters across the U.S.