Martin Scorsese wrapped production on THE IRISHMAN almost a year ago, but thanks to the extensive digital effects work which will be needed, there’s still quite a lot of work to be done. Based upon Charles Brandt’s “I Heard You Paint Houses,” THE IRISHMAN will chronicle the career of Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a mob hitman who was supposedly involved in the death of Jimmy Hoffa. The highly-anticipated film will be using digital de-aging technology, similar to what we’ve seen in Marvel movies such as CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR and the upcoming CAPTAIN MARVEL, to peel back the decades from Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci.
It’s quite the risky undertaking, not to mention expensive, and editor Thelma Schoonmaker, who has lent her editing talents to all of Martin Scorsese‘s films since RAGING BULL, provided an update on THE IRISHMAN while speaking with Yahoo Entertainment. Schoonmaker revealed that they’re “youthifying” the actors for the first half of the movie, while the second half will find them playing their own ages. As that’s an awful lot of visual effects work (done by ILM), Schoonmaker said that she hasn’t actually seen a full scene of the actors as their younger selves yet.
We’re seeing some of it, but I haven’t gotten a whole scene where they’re young, and what I’m going to have to see, and what Marty’s going to have to see is ‘How is it affecting the rest of the movie when you see them young?’ Interestingly, we’ve only been able to screen for very few people, because they’re wearing some things on their faces, and on their clothes, that tracks their movement… Nobody minds. Nobody minds watching them play young, because they’re gripped. Very few people have seen it, because we can’t show it to a big audience. But the characters are so strong, it doesn’t matter – it’s really funny. I don’t know what it’s going to be like when we get it all – that’s the risk.
Thelma Schoonmaker also cautioned those that are assuming THE IRISHMAN will be another GOODFELLAS. “It is not Goodfellas. It’s completely different. It’s wonderful. They’re going to love it. But please don’t think it’s gonna be Goodfellas, because it isn’t,” Schoonmaker said. “It’s a different kind of movie, it’s episodic, it’s not narrative. When you do a narrative film, you’re always saying, ‘Oh well, you know, we could slim that down, we could move the shot, maybe we should integrate that, maybe we should flashback with that.’ That’s not the way this movie is. It actually came together very quickly, it’s very different. You will see. It’s extremely different and it really works, which is very exciting.” THE IRISHMAN is expected to debut on Netflix late 2019.