The Irishman: Everything you need to know

Ian Sandwell
Photo credit: Netflix

From Digital Spy

Martin Scorsese had been trying to get The Irishman made for years and his passion project looked in danger when its financier dropped out.

However, Netflix soon came on board in February 2017 and backed the project, which has a reported budget of anywhere between $125 million and $175 million. It marks the legendary director's return to the gangster genre and is one of Netflix's biggest Original movies yet.

After having success with Roma at this year's Oscars, The Irishman looks to be the streaming giant's next offering to be in awards contention, so what do you need to know about the biopic?

The Irishman trailer: Watch it here!

A sign that Netflix will be pushing The Irishman in next year's Oscar race came with the decision to launch the first teaser during this year's ceremony.

There was no actual footage in the teaser, but there is a name check for the original book that the movie is based on, I Heard You Paint Houses.

We had to wait until July 31 for the first proper trailer for the star-studded crime drama, and it didn't disappoint.

The Irishman cast: Who's in it?

Marking their ninth collaboration together, Scorsese turned to Robert De Niro for the lead role of Frank 'The Irishman' Sheeran, while De Niro will work for the fourth time with Al Pacino who plays Jimmy Hoffa.

There's a Raging Bull and Goodfellas reunion too for Scorsese and De Niro as Joe Pesci is on board as Russell Bufalino.

Photo credit: Rex Shutterstock - Warner Bros.

The impressive cast also features Harvey Keitel as Angelo Bruno, Anna Paquin as Peggy Sheeran, Bobby Cannavale as Felix DiTullio, Stephen Graham as Tony Provenzano and Jesse Plemons as Chuckie O'Brien, among many others.

There's going to be some significant de-aging going on with the main characters too as Scorsese's regular editor Thelma Schoonmaker explained to Yahoo! Movies.

"We’re youthifying the actors in the first half of the movie. And then the second half of the movie they play their own age. So that’s a big risk," she noted. "We're having that done by Industrial Light and Magic Island, ILM. That's a big risk."

Photo credit: David M Benett - Getty Images

We could be seeing De Niro's character as young as 20 years old, according to producer Gaston Pavlovich.

The Irishman release date: When can we expect it?

Netflix hasn't yet confirmed a release date for The Irishman, and all we know so far is that it'll be released this fall in selected cinemas and on Netflix.

It's set to receive a wide cinema release – in the US, at least – unlike other Netflix Original movies because Scorsese has asked for one.

According to star Sebastian Maniscalco (who plays Joe Gallo), the movie will be released in October, so make of that what you will.

The Irishman plot: What's it about?

In a nutshell, The Irishman tells the story of labour union official and mob hitman Frank Sheeran who claims to have played a part in the disappearance of labour union leader Jimmy Hoffa in 1975.

The full official synopsis is as follows: "An epic saga of organised crime in post-war America told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th Century.

Photo credit: Netflix

"Spanning decades, the film chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history, the disappearance of legendary union boss Jimmy Hoffa, and offers a monumental journey through the hidden corridors of organized crime: its inner workings, rivalries and connections to mainstream politics."

But despite the Goodfellas connections behind the scenes and in front of the camera, don't go expecting a spiritual sequel.

"It is not Goodfellas. It's completely different. It's wonderful. They're going to love it. But please don't think it's gonna be Goodfellas, because it isn't," Schoonmaker told Yahoo! Movies, adding that they "don't know how long it's going to be".

Photo credit: Warner Br/Everett

Scorsese previously described the movie as being "about two brothers, they have to trust each other and there is a betrayal".

Charles Brandt's book has been adapted for the screen by Gangs of New York and American Gangster writer Steven Zaillian.

The Irishman is released in selected cinemas and on Netflix this fall.

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