Joe Pesci Confirmed for Comeback in The Irishman

Joe Pesci confirmed for comeback in The Irishman

Although word first broke of Joe Pesci’s possible involvement in Martin Scorsese’s passion project The Irishman back in 2010, Deadline is reporting that the legendary actor has now officially signed on to re-team with Scorsese and Robert De Niro for the film after reportedly turning the role down nearly 50 times. This will mark Pesci’s first onscreen role since 2010’s Love Ranch, his fourth teaming with Scorsese (after Raging Bull, Goodfellas and Casino) and his seventh with De Niro. He will portray Pennsylvania Mafia boss Russell Bufalino, who may have had a hand in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa.

It has also been confirmed that longtime Scorsese regular Harvey Keitel (Who’s That Knocking at My DoorMean StreetsAlice Doesn’t Live Here AnymoreTaxi DriverThe Last Temptation of Christ) is in talks to join the picture as Philly crime boss Angelo Bruno, after the actor’s involvement was also first mooted in 2010. Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man, Boardwalk Empire) is in talks to play “Crazy Joe” Gallo of New York’s Colombo crime family.

De Niro will star as mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, who is reputed to have carried out more than 25 murders. Al Pacino will portray infamously slain labor leader Jimmy Hoffa. It will be Pacino’s first time working with Scorsese. It has also been reported that The Irishman may employ extensive (and expensive) digital de-aging techniques so the older actors can portray their characters through the decades.

Steve Zaillian (Schindler’s List, American Gangster) penned the script based on the novel “I Heard You Paint Houses” by Charles Brandt.

Netflix will finance and distribute The Irishman to theaters for an Oscar-qualifying run. De Niro, Fabrica’s Gaston Pavlovich, Jane Rosenthal, Scorcese, Randall Emmett and Emma Tillinger Koskoff will produce. Filming begins in July in New York and will continue through December.

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)