Martin Scorsese’s Wise-Guy Reunion Film, ‘The Irishman,’ Is In Final Negotiations

Al Pacino has never starred in a Martin Scorsese film, but could soon change if the Oscar-winning director’s star-studded crime epic The Irishman secures financing. Deadline reports that one of Scorsese’s many projects is the adaptation of Charles Brandt’s 2005 non-fiction novel, I Heard You Paint Houses. The film has been in development for nearly a decade, and would also feature Robert De Niro and the long-awaited return by Joe Pesci.

The international rights are currently being shopped by Paramount to Fabrica de Cine ahead of the May 11 opening of the Cannes Film Festival. If that deal goes through, it’s likely the film will arrive at the domestic box office within the next year. Fabrica would first have to secure international distributors, and despite the strong talent attached to the project, the film’s reported $100 million budget might be a hard sell given the current economic climate in Hollywood. Industry insiders note that it’s all about superhero films, and blockbusters which “don’t involve Luke Skywalker, The Incredible Hulk, and Bruce Wayne” simply aren’t impressing financial backers.

Consequence of Sound reports that screenwriter Steve Zaillian (Schindler’s List) adapted Brandt’s book, which captures the life of mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, who, today, is best-known for his supposed involvement in the death of Jimmy Hoffa.

Check out the clip below in which De Niro discuss the movie on Jimmy Fallon, and reveals a curious detail about its production (this starts at 3:35).

Scorsese and De Niro have made nine films together since 1973. Most of them were of the crime genre, and many have since been considered among the greatest films of all time. In 1995, De Niro and Scorsese re-united with Pesci for Casino. Five years earlier, the three cinematic icons worked on Goodfellas. After Casino, Martin and Robert wouldn’t collaborate again until 2015’s The Audition. The project was a short film that served as a promotional spot for casinos Studio City in Macau, China, and City of Dreams in Manila, Philippines. It also reunited Scorsese with his other muse, Leonardo DiCaprio.

READ RELATED STORY: Leonardo DiCaprio, De Niro, Scorsese Unveil $70 Million Short Film At Chinese Casino Launch

Liza, Robert, Martin

Pesci is best known for a trio of Scorsese films in which he co-starred with De Niro: Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and Casino. He earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Raging Bull, and later won the award for his performance in Goodfellas. In 1999, Pesci announced his retirement from acting because he wanted a break from the cameras. He emerged several years later for a cameo in De Niro’s 2006 film The Good Shepherd. He also starred in the 2010 brothel drama, Love Ranch.

Michael Mann’s 1995 crime thriller Heat marked the first time Robert De Niro and Al Pacino teamed. The film was a massive success, grossing $67 million in the United States and $187 million worldwide — against a $60 million budget. Pacino and De Niro would reunite in 2008 for director Jon Avnet’s Righteous Kill. The film was poorly received, and Time magazine named it on its 100 Worst Films of 2008 list.

Martin Scorsese will return this fall with Silence, starring Liam Neeson, Adam Driver, and Andrew Garfield. Sources tell Deadline that Paramount is in final negotiations to sell the The Irishman rights to Fabrica in a similar deal that was inked for Silence. Back in February, it was announced that HBO had renewed its 1970s rock ‘n’ roll drama Vinyl for a second season. The series is a collaborative effort between Scorsese and Terence Winter, plus Rich Cohen and rock icon Mick Jagger.

[Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival]

[Photo by Carlos Rene Perez/AP Images]