Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino team-up for The Irishman, but doubts cast over Joe Pesci’s involvement

Lucrative rights to the mob drama were purchased at this year's Cannes Film Festival

Jacob Stolworthy@Jacob_Stol
Thursday 19 May 2016 23:03

Ever since Robert De Niro confirmed production on long-gestating mob drama The Irishman, film fans have been excited by the thought of seeing him reunited on-screen with Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in the Martin Scorsese-directed project.

Unfortunately, it now seems that Pesci has withdrawn from what was due to be the Goodfellas actor's first role in six years.

The Hollywood Reporter claims that the largely retired Pesci has 'repeatedly told Scorsese no' with the Casino director remaining confident he can lure Pesci back.

Rights to the film have been snapped up by STX Entertainment at this year's Cannes Film Festival in one of the more lucrative reported deals ($50 million).

Also referred to as I Heard You Paint Houses, the film is based on the book by Charles Brandt which follows the “biggest mob hit in history”.

De Niro's role will be that of notorious mobster Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran - worlds away from playing dirty grandpas.

Interestingly, The Irishman - which looks to begin filming January 2017 - will mark the first collaboration between Scorsese and The Godfather actor Pacino. It'll serve as the tenth time that De Niro has worked with the filmmaker.

Pesci's most recent film was 2010 drama Love Ranch. Comedian Louis CK recently revealed HOW he approached Pesci for the role of Uncle Pete for his web series Horace & Pete before the actor passed up the opportunity; the role went to Alan Alda instead.

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