In the hours leading up to Sunday’s Oscars ceremony, Netflix not-so-stealthily dropped the first teaser for what will probably be their next big awards-season movie, The Irishman. The Martin Scorsese flick — a mob movie that’s definitely Not-Goodfellas — has been teased here in the barest sense of the word. Yet audiences will still find this enthralling, if YouTube’s 325,000+ views are any indicator, as are comments like, “Aw man, just seeing Joe Pesci’s name alone has me hyped for this!”
What does this teaser provide? Not much, other than the names of not only Pesci but also Harvey Keitel, along with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro (re-teaming long after The Godfather: Part II, Heat, and Righteous Kill) with a falling bullet replacing the “i” in each name. They’re talking about painting houses, which alludes to murder in the film’s source material, I Heard You Paint Houses, the 2003 book from Charles Brandt about mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (De Niro) and his ties to the death of Teamster Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). Both Pacino and De Niro will be aggressively de-aged through CGI, but one can bet that we won’t see a glimpse of that wizardry for months.
The Irishman will, of course, be directed by Scorsese with a script from Steve Zaillian (Schindler’s List). Here’s a synopsis from Brandt’s book via Amazon:
“I heard you paint houses” are the first words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran. To paint a house is to kill a man. The paint is the blood that splatters on the walls and floors. In the course of nearly five years of recorded interviews Frank Sheeran confessed to Charles Brandt that he handled more than twenty-five hits for the mob, and for his friend Hoffa.
Sheeran learned to kill in the U.S. Army, where he saw an astonishing 411 days of active combat duty in Italy during World War II. After returning home he became a hustler and hit man, working for legendary crime boss Russell Bufalino. Eventually Sheeran would rise to a position of such prominence that in a RICO suit then-U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani would name him as one of only two non-Italians on a list of 26 top mob figures.
When Bufalino ordered Sheeran to kill Hoffa, the Irishman did the deed, knowing that if he had refused he would have been killed himself.
In addition, the teaser indicates that The Irishman will premiere “in theaters this fall” (no official date yet) as well as stream on Netflix.