De Niro Reveals Scorsese's Two Film Plans for The Irishman
One of the many, many projects that Martin Scorsese has in the works is an adaptation of a mob book called I Heard You Paint Houses that Scorsese would direct as a feature film titled The Irishman. In late 2008, it was announced that Scorsese would be reuniting with Robert De Niro for this project, making this the first time they'd work together since Casino in 1995. The last we wrote about the project was in '08 and it was mentioned again in a post looking at Scorsese's line-up following The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Now MTV has an update from De Niro himself about a brilliant idea for making this as two films. Read on!
"It's based on a book called I Heard You Paint Houses. It's a very simple, terrific story about [the mobster Frank Sheeran], who supposedly killed [Jimmy] Hoffa and Joe Gallo and so on," De Niro tells MTV about The Irishman. From there, he goes on to talk briefly about Scorsese's plans for splitting it into two films.
"We have a more ambitious idea, hopefully, to make it a two-part type of film or two films... It's an idea that came about from Eric Roth to combine these movies using the footage from 'Paint Houses' to do another kind of a [film that is] reminiscent of a kind of 8 1/2, La Dolce Vita, [a] certain kind of biographical, semi-biographical type of Hollywood movie — a director and the actor — based on things Marty and I have experienced and kind of overlapping them."
The Eric Roth he's speaking of is the same Oscar winning screenwriter behind Forrest Gump, The Postman, Ali, Munich and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button most recently. "Steve Zaillian wrote the first script, which is terrific," De Niro said. "The other part, Eric [Roth] is supposed to do it. And we're hoping to move these things together." It's a fascinating idea that I hope we get to see, not only because it references two of Federico Fellini's masterpieces, but also because it could be a very unique approach to a mob film that we've never really seen before. Plus, Scorsese has a history with De Niro that spans back to Mean Streets in 1973.
MTV brings up a very good point about comparing 8 1/2, which "features autobiographical elements from Fellini's own life," and how Scorsese wants to make The Irishman semi-biographical as well, since the two have a long, real history together in addition to a cinematic history (with lots of mob movies coincidentally). I'm curious to hear more about their plans and what exactly they'll do, but so far I'm intrigued. According to our update in February, Scorsese will hopefully move on to The Irishman after he finishes The Invention of Hugo Cabret and his Jesuit priest drama Silence first. We'll keep you updated otherwise in the meantime!