Robert De Niro Still Trying To Get Joe Pesci For 'The Irishman,' Martin Scorsese Discusses Cinema History In Engaging 85-Minute Talk

With one long-developing movie out of the way in “Silence,” Martin Scorsese is now turning his attention to another project that has been on his desk for a while in “The Irishman.” The pieces have been slowly coalescing, especially across the past year, and new details have emerged about the shape it’s taking.

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Firstly, in an interview with Scorsese’s longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker in the Associated Press (via 680 News), it’s revealed that the hitman drama “The Irishman” is now aiming to start filming in June. That’s a slight bump back from the previously reported production start of February, but it makes sense given that Scorsese came down to the wire to finish “Silence.” I would imagine that the filmmaker needs some space to breathe and get everything prepared before cameras can roll on “The Irishman.” And part of that process means assembling his cast, which we so far know will be led by Robert De Niro, with Scorsese directing his longtime collaborator and friend for the first time in a feature film since 1995’s “Casino.” The idea at first was to also bring “Raging Bull,” “Goodfellas,” and “Casino” co-star Joe Pesci into the mix, but last summer it was reported he turned down the movie. However, De Niro is not giving up on Pesci.

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“I know he’s making an effort. There will be a time when we have to start that so I know he’s having those conversations with Joe and still trying to get him on board,” producer Gaston Pavlovich told Collider. Let’s hope De Niro’s powers of persuasion can work some magic.

Meanwhile, there has been much talk about Scorsese using digital technology to de-age De Niro for key portions of the movie, and Pavlovich says that’s still the plan.

“It’s a story that spans a lot of time, so some segments without prosthetics we’ll be able to get him to look like his ‘Godfather: Part II‘ part. Well, that age, anyway,” he said. “It won’t be a huge aspect of the movie, but sections. The technology can go from 20, 40, 60. Yeah. We’re still experimenting but [we] saw a test and it looked extraordinary.”

We were once wary of Scorsese going 3D, but “Hugo” turned out beautifully, so we’ll put our reservations aside for now.

As we wait for more news about “The Irishman,” dive into this great talk with Scorsese and Kent Jones from 2001 about film history and much more. It’s must listen stuff.