Martin Scorsese's The Irishman Shows Off Its Impressive De-Aging For Robert De Niro

Made off a reported $159 million budget, The Irishman is Netflix’s most expensive movie to date. So what does a crime drama need that much money for? Digitally de-aging many of its actors, including Robert De Niro, who plays hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran.

With a little over a month to go until The Irishman hits Netflix, and just two days before its world premiere at the New York Film Festival, new photos have been released of Robert De Niro’s Frank over his lifetime, including when he was a younger man, thus putting De Niro in the de-aging spotlight.

Robert De Niro in The Irishman

While I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s the same level of quality we’ve seen in recent Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, this is still a solid example of the lengths Martin Scorsese and his team went to make Robert De Niro look younger in The Irishman. Here we see Frank Sheehan during World War II, and in the below picture, we jump forward a couple decades, presumably sometime in the 1950s or early 1960s when he’s still relatively early into his career as an assassin.

Robert De Niro in The Irishman

Of course, seeing a photo of a de-aged actor is one thing. We’ll need to see Robert De Niro and his other co-stars who’ve been de-aged in motion to effectively judge the end result. Suffice it to say that there’ll be a lot of attention paid to how The Irishman pulled off this element of its production, and how it ultimately stacks up to what other movies have delivered.

You can head over to Netflix’s social media pages to see two other pictures of Robert De Niro’s Frank Sheeran; one where he looks ‘normal’ (i.e. around the same age as the actor), and another of him as a much older man, presumably close to death. Based on the 2004 memoir I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, The Irishman chronicles Frank Sheeran’s life and shines a particularly bright light on his role in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa.

Robert De Niro is joined in The Irishman by fellow longtime Martin Scorsese collaborator Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, Bobby Cannavale, Anna Paquin, Stephen Grahama and Kathrine Narducci, among many others. Mickey Rourke claims that he was up for a role in The Irishman, but his feud with De Niro kept him from getting the job, something that two of The Irishman producers denied.

Although it was originally slated to be a standard theatrical movie distributed by Paramount Pictures, in early 2017, Netflix bought the movie for a reported $105 million. Considering that Martin Scorsese’s latest flick is clocking in at nearly 210 minutes, no doubt a lot of folks will be glad to have the option to watch it home right off the bat to allow for more bathroom breaks.

Along with getting a limited theatrical release, The Irishman will arrive on Netflix on November 1, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend in the meantime for more coverage on the movie, including our forthcoming review. Those of you curious about what’s headed to the big screen for the rest of the year can find that information in our 2019 release schedule.

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.