The Irishman, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel, debuted today on Netflix. The film has sparked great anticipation from both the cast and controversy surrounding Scorsese, who recently claimed that superhero movies “They are not cinema”.
A strong contender for the Oscars and the Golden Globe, The Irishman is an old project by the director of Taxi Driver and The Good Fellows: Scorsese announced the feature in 2014, but has already revealed that he had been in his plans for at least a decade.
Check out the trailer below – and check out five things you need to know before you turn on the TV and start watching the movie.
1 – The story of the film is based on real facts…
The gangster movie (a director's specialty) is inspired by Charles Brandt's I Heard You Paint Houses, which tells the real story of WWI veteran Sheeran (De Niro) accused of involvement with the Mafia.
The story will address one of America's most iconic crimes: the disappearance of union leader Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). Scorsese's intention is to portray three decades of relationship between him and Frank, accused of having been involved in Hoffa's murder. Hoffa's story is well known in Uncle Sam's land – the crime, to this day, has not been elucidated. Hoffa became a trade unionist in 1930 and, a few decades later, became the most important figure in the movement there.
With the support of the workers, Hoffa became an influential figure, but had complicated relations with the mafia. It all culminates in his death in 1975, and the fact that no one could find the place where his body was buried only adds to the popular imagination surrounding the case.
… But not the first to address them
Hoffa's story, it is worth mentioning, already yielded a movie in 1992. Actor Jack Nicholson starred in Hoffa as the union leader who, look, was born in Brazil – or nearly so. He was born in 1913 in Brazil, a small town in Indiana, US state.
2 – It's Martin Scorsese's longest movie
3 hours and 30 minutes. Yeah. The Irishman easily surpasses other long-running director career lengths: New York Gangs (2h 48min), The Wall Street Wolf (3h), Casino (2h58min) and The Last Temptation of Christ (2h44min). If you want to compare with the rest of the Scorsese movies, Google gives the answer.
3 – And the most expensive too
$ 175 million was the budget of the movie. The initial value was lower, $ 125 million, but the bill inflated during production. The amount not only surpasses previous Scorsese films, but surpasses also action-adventure blockbusters such as Spider-Man: Away from Home ($ 160 million) and Godzilla 2: King of Monsters ($ 170 million).
It's the same value director Steven Spielberg used to make Player Number 1 in 2017. But why did it have to spend so much money? In addition to the starring cast, Scorsese's ambitious project uses the facial rejuvenation technique in De Niro et al. so that key actors get digitally younger to portray the four decades of history.
The method, known in the visual effects industry as de-aging, was praised for its richness of detail – and for its subtlety as well. Netflix tends to display its movies in 4K, which is a quadruple resolution, and yet digital makeup didn't look artificial. To this end, Scorsese relied on the work of Industrial Light & Magic, a special effects company founded in the 1970s by George Lucas, creator of Star Wars.
4 – This is the first time the Scorsese / De Niro / Pacino / Pesci quartet has worked together
It may seem odd, but even with decades of back experience, it's the first time all four have worked together. It is the first time, too, that Al Pacino has been directed by Scorsese. In Joe Pesci's case, we had to insist dozens times to let him leave retirement and join the cast.
But that does not mean that throughout their career they have not partnered with each other. In this infographic, SUPER wrecked them all: The Irishman will be Scorsese's ninth film alongside Robert De Niro, who has not acted in the director's works since Cassino's 1995. According to the actor, the Netflix feature is a kind in "reckoning" between them.
5 – Calm down. Several people have seen before you
Despite the world premiere over the internet, you are likely to meet someone who has seen The Irish in a movie theater. It turns out that this is a requirement to compete for the Oscars. According to Academy rules, to be eligible for awards, the film must be screened for a few weeks in pre-determined cities.
In the end, the movie opened in the US in eight theaters, in New York and Los Angeles, as well as a few more independent theaters across the country, sparking a fight with the major movie networks hoping to cash in on the attraction. In Brazil, the long debuted in 19 rooms on November 14th.