Martin Scorsese recreated a famous scene from Goodfellas to see if the proposed use of de-ageing technology in his new movie The Irishman would work.
According to Empire, the Christmas party scene, in which De Niro's Jimmy Conway chastises his fellow mobsters for spending money on flashy items – and demands they all get taken back – was re-shot in August 2015 when The Irishman was in pre-production.
“We made a little set that looked a little like the original film, and then Bob got going,” said Scorsese.
“He did his monologues and soliloquies and different expressions. ‘Get rid of the fur coat! Get rid of the Cadillac!’ Then he went through a series of computer processes.”
The footage was then taken by Pablo Helman of effects studio Industrial Light & Magic, to work on the de-ageing, apparently referred to by Scorsese as 'youthification'.
“We all decided 'This is going to work,'” Scorsese added.
“I really had no choice. The risk was there, and that was it. We just tried to make the film. After sitting on the couch for 10 years […] we finally had a way.”
Scorsese has been wanting to make The Irishman for many years. It tells the story of Frank Sheeran – played by De Niro – the mob hitman involved in the disappearance of mob-linked union leader Jimmy Hoffa (played by Al Pacino in The Irishman).
Due to the movie taking place over a number of decades, stars De Niro, Pacino and Joe Pesci all had to be de-aged.
Also starring Harvey Keitel, Anna Paquin, Bobby Cannavale and Stephen Graham, it premiere's at the New York Film Festival on September 27, before being released on Netflix on November 27.
Last week, it was revealed that it will be the longest movie of Scorsese's career, at a gargantuan 210 minutes.