Robert De Niro to be made 'digitally younger' for Martin Scorsese gangster movie

Ben Arnold
De-aged… De Niro will be made younger digitally in The Irishman – Credit: Rex

There’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese’s long-planned gangster biopic ‘The Irishman’.

It’ll be the first time Scorsese and his one-time muse have worked together since ‘Casino’ in 1997 (not counting that ropey advert they made for a Chinese casino last year).

But according to the movie’s producer Gaston Pavlovich, there’s going to be some cutting edge technology used to allow De Niro to play mob hitman Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran through the ages.

In an interview with Cinemablend, he said: “You don’t use prosthetics, make-up; they have acting and the technology is able to have them go through different time ages without the prosthetics. So we’ve seen some tests and it looks extraordinary.

“We were able to film Bob and just do a scene. We saw it come down to when he was like 20, 40, 60, so we’re looking forward to that, from that point of view, for ‘The Irishman’.

“Imagine seeing what De Niro looked like in ‘The Godfather: Part II’ days, that’s pretty much how you’re going to see him again.”

(Credit: Rex/Paramount)

There has been the odd glimpse of CGI de-ageing techniques in recent years, notably making Michael Douglas younger in ‘Ant-Man’, and also Anthony Hopkins in the HBO series ‘Westworld’, albeit very briefly.

The long-in-gestation film follows the life of Sheeran, based on the book ‘I Heard You Paint Houses’, by Charles Brandt.

The title was apparently what union leader Jimmy Hoffa said to Sheeran on meeting him.

Sheeran later claimed to have had a hand in the mysterious disappearance of Hoffa in 1975, and he’s said to have carried out the killings of 25 people, joining the Mob after returning from World War II under the control of boss Russell Bufalino.

The film is due to start shooting in early 2017, and will also star Bobby Cannavale.

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