It’s taken 25 years, but Martin Scorsese is finally close to filming his latest crime drama, The Irishman. A lot has changed in the decades since the acclaimed director first dreamed of turning the story of real-life mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran into a movie. Namely, his starring actors, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, don’t exactly look quite as young anymore. Thankfully, technology has also progressed, and it looks like Scorsese will be using the latest computer software to de-age the film’s actors.
Speaking with Cinema Blend (via The Playlist), producer Gaston Pavlovich revealed that the movie will make use of the sort of technology that made Robert Downey Jr. younger in Captain America: Civil War and brought a ton of Star Wars characters back for Rogue One to allow Pacino and De Niro to film decades of flashback scenes without worrying about hiring younger actors or prosthetics. “We were able to film [De Niro] and just do a scene, and 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,” he said, adding, “Imagine seeing what De Niro looked like in The Godfather 2 days, that’s pretty much how you’re going to see him again.”
Response has been mixed regarding how well similar technology was able to resurrect Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One, so whether The Irishman can utilize it without distracting the audience is TBD. Still, the idea of seeing a ’70s-era De Niro and Pacino (and maybe Joe Pesci?) squaring off is an enticing one.
Of course, there’s still some time to tighten up the technology. Scorsese is expected to start filming the movie in February or March for a potential run at the 2018 Oscars. Steve Zaillian (Schindler’s List) wrote the script based on Charles Brandt’s 2005 non-fiction novel, I Heard You Paint Houses…