Joe Pesci to star in Martin Scorsese's The Irishman after being asked '50 times'

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Pesci… has finally agreed to be in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman – Credit: Getty

Joe Pesci has finally agreed to be in Martin Scorsese’s new movie ‘The Irishman’, after being asked by the director a reported ’50 times’.

Pesci, who had all but retired from the movie business (his last appearance on screen was in 2010), will join Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in the long-in-gestation gangster project.

Also in talks for the movie, but not yet signed up, are Harvey Keitel and ‘Boardwalk Empire’ star Bobby Cannavale.

According to Deadline, Pesci turned the role down as many as 50 times, but has now signed up to play real-life Pennsylvania mob boss Russell Bufalino in the movie.

(Credit: Getty)

Based on the book ‘I Heard You Paint Houses’, it follows the true story of De Niro’s Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran, a mob hitman who was thought to have murdered union leader Jimmy Hoffa in 1975.

The movie, which Scorsese has described as being about ‘love, betrayal, remorse and the sadness and tragedy, ultimately, of a life led that way’, will also be ‘different’ to his previous mob movies, like ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘Casino’.

“I think this is different, I think it is,” he told The Independent around the release of his last movie, ‘Silence’.

“I admit that there are – you know, Goodfellas and Casino have a certain style that I created for them – it’s on the page in the script actually. Putting Goodfellas together was almost like an afterthought, at times I was kind of rushing, I felt I’d already done it because I’d played it all out in terms of the camera moves and the editing and that sort of thing. The style of the picture, the cuts, the freeze-frames, all of this was planned way in advance, but here it’s a little different.

“The people are also older in The Irishman, it’s certainly more about looking back, a retrospective so to speak of a man’s life and the choices that he’s had to make.”

It’s thought that the movie will employ ‘de-aging’ CGI technology, to allow De Niro, Pacino and Pesci et al to play the same characters over a 40 year period.

Read More:
Marvel’s Black Panther: new photos/plot details
Charlize Theron teases Mad Max prequel
Controversy over Tarantino’s Manson movie plans