The Irishman: Joe Pesci officially joins Robert De Niro in new Martin Scorsese film making Goodfellas reunion official

The actor was reportedly asked 50 times before accepting a role in the mob drama 

Jacob Stolworthy
Thursday 13 July 2017 08:12 BST
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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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Martin Scorsese has officially convinced Joe Pesci to return to the silver screen alongside Robert De Niro for his next film The Irishman completing the Goodfellas reunion everybody was wanting.

Al Pacino will also star in the film marking The Godfather actor's first collaboration with Scorsese. It'll be the tenth time that De Niro has worked with the filmmaker.

Production began on Scorsese's long-gestating mob drama last year with lucrative rights picked up at Cannes Film Festival. It was recently reported that Netflix had impressively acquired worldwide rights to the film and that, to qualify for Oscar recognition, it would receive a small theatrical release.

Doubt has long been cast over Pesci's involvement in the project after it was reported that the actor had “repeatedly told Scorsese no” (reports suggest 50 times) but the news was semi-confirmed by the director's long-time editor Thelma Schoonmaker earlier this month, but now the Home Alone star's deal has been finalised.

It'll be his fourth time working with the filmmaker following Raging Bull, Goodfellas and Casino. He will play Pennsylvanian Mafia boss Russell Bufalino, a key suspect in the disappearance of mobster Jimmy Hoffa.

Harvey Keitel and Bobby Cannavale are also in talks to join the cast before the ilm begins shooting in New York next month, Deadline reports.

The Irishman - also referred to as I Heard You Paint Houses (mob slang for contract killings - the 'paint' being blood) - 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.

Scorsese is also currently working on an adaptation of The Devil in the White City with Leonardo DiCaprio.

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