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Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are considered by many to be two of our greatest living actors. Martin Scorsese is one of our greatest directors. How great would it be to get them all together, with Joe Pesci thrown into the mix just for the hell of it? The Irishman has been in development hell for years, but according to De Niro, it’s not quite dead yet.
De Niro was on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon to hype his new movie, The Intern, when Fallon asked the two-time Oscar winner about the long gestating film. De Niro confirms the involvement of himself, Pacino, and Scorsese, as well as the previously attached Joe Pesci.
To add one more huge name to the list, Fallon also mentions Harvey Keitel. That name only gets a "maybe" out of De Niro. If anything the idea of a potential new cast members may actually lend credence to the idea that this movie really isn’t dead. If there’s no definitive decision on Keitel, does that mean there are active talks on the topic? Surely if the last time they talked to him was 2010, they’d have an answer by now. For his part, however, De Niro sounds confident this will actually happen. In fact, the only thing he didn’t seem sure about was the title, saying:
That the working title. It was based on a book called I Heard You Paint Houses. That might be the actual title when it comes out but I’m not sure.
Check out the whole video below.
The book I Heard You Paint Houses, a phrase that is mob code for "I understand you murder people for money," is the story of the life of alleged professional hitman Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran, who claims to have killed, among others, Jimmy Hoffa. De Niro will play the title role if and when it ever happens.
Scorsese and De Niro have wanted to make this film since at least 2008. Pacino and Pesci joined the project two years later, and while the film has never fallen completely off the radar, we haven’t seen much movement. The last thing we heard was over a year ago, but to be fair, what De Niro said then was that he thought the film would happen eventually. He said:
We have been trying to do [the film] for the last few years, and I think we will do it. It’s based on [the] book ‘I Heard You Paint Houses’ by Charles Brandt. It’s about a guy who . . . confessed that he killed Hoffa and Joe Gallo. I’m gonna play that character. That’s something I’m looking forward to very much . . . I think it will [happen] . . . we’re really working towards making it happen
Needless to say, this cast for a movie like this is a mob movie fan’s dream. If the Tonight Show crowd’s reaction is any indication, there are lots of people who want to see this happen, not just Robert De Niro. Surely there’s a studio somewhere who can greenlight this.