Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” is the last hurrah for a band of Hollywood legends, said its star Robert De Niro.
De Niro, 76, plays the title character, geriatric New York hitman Frank Sheeran, and said he dragged Joe Pesci, also 76, out of retirement to play a mobster in the movie, which opened last week.
‘”Come on, we’re not going to do this ever again,’” said De Niro in an interview with The Guardian newspaper last week, describing how he cajoled a reluctant Pesci to join the ambitious film project which also stars Al Pacino, 79, and took years to finance and develop.
“It was tough enough to get it done, to get the money to do it and everything,” said De Niro. “I don’t see us putting on a movie like this. I hope we do other films together, but like this? Not likely. This is it.”
In fact, the film, based on a true story, took so long to come together that the stars started to get too old to play their roles, though Scorsese, also 76, did not want to use younger actors to portray them in middle-age. Netflix used “de-aging” CGI technology in order to solve the problem.
The film — which will stream on Netflix on Nov. 27 after its three week theatrical run — reunites De Niro and Pacino who have known each other since 1968. The actors worked together on Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” trilogy.
“The Irishman” marks the first time in their careers that Pacino and Scorsese have worked together.
“Like everything in this business, if you’ve been in it for a while, you realize that things get started, but then they go in different places and they don’t always culminate in a film,” said Pacino. “A couple of times, Marty and I were going to do something together, then they slip away.”