Director Martin Scorsese unveiled his new film "The Irishman" Friday, kicking off the NY film festival with the ambitious Netflix movie that was more than a decade in the making. It will play first for members of the press Friday morning and then have its red-carpet premiere in the evening.
After several studios declined the project, it took Netflix's deep pockets to get the green light for "The Irishman" - the nickname of Frank Sheeran, whose account of real-life events forms the basis of the book and film.
That delayed the project for almost a decade, Scorsese said, crediting Netflix boss Ted Serandos for finally backing his "costly experiment".
"The Irishman" will open theatrically November 1 and will begin streaming on November 27.
Like many of Martin Scorsese's later films, The Irishman has a pretty long running time.
We've been hearing about this epic crime saga - about Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), the mob middleman who claims to have murdered Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) - for years; Scorsese shot parts of the film in New Jersey all the way back iin September 2017. They were joined by stars Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, and producers Emma Tillinger Koskoff and Jane Rosenthal.
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Within the meantime, the 76-year-old is gearing up for the discharge of his newest film, The Irishman, during which he stars as Frank Sheeran, a former mob hitman and World Conflict II vet who displays on his previous as an outdated man.
'All of us now are in an extraordinary time of change, ' Scorsese said.
Through de-aging visual effects, the performances by De Niro, Pesci and Pacino span decades of their characters' lives. 'But when it comes down to it, I felt - Bob (De Niro) felt - the picture had to be made for ourselves'. Here is how NYFF describes the movie: "The Irishman is a richly textured epic of American crime, a dense, complex story told with astonishing fluidity". The movie reportedly cost more $200 million to film, likely thanks in no small part to the ambitiousness of the multi-decade story. "I could extend my career another 30 years", he joked.
The first reviews are in for Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, with critics raving that it is a masterpiece and surefire contender for a slew of Oscars. But it's one of those things that if you stare at it, yes, you can see the imperfections - especially when De Niro or Pesci are acting alongside, say, a non-de-aged Ray Romano.
We're so accustomed to the biggest-hyped movies failing to live up to expectations that it's nearly disorienting when one delivers.