Martin Scorsese has a number of promising projects on his plate to follow Hugo Cabret: reps say he’ll next make Silence, and then there is a possible indie version of The Wolf of Wall Street, with other movies on the far horizon. One of those is The Irishman, which has been talked up as a reunion of the director with actors Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino. Evidently it is still a going concern, as Robert De Niro said over the weekend.

At a press conference promoting his appearance in Limitless, Robert De Niro said that The Irishman is still on the boards:

Yeah, I’m planning on it, absolutely. Well, this time I’ll say it, I’ve said it before, its a movie based on a book called, ‘I Heard You Paint Houses,’ its about a guy who says, and I believe [the author of] the book—he’s passed away now—but he confessed that he killed [Jimmy] Hoffa and also Joe Gallo. And so I’m gonna play that character. Joe Pesci is gonna be in it, Al Pacino is gonna be in it and Marty’s going to direct it.

I’m hoping it happens. We’re really working towards making it happen… Yeah, I mean I’d never say it if I never fully [meant it, if we weren’t] committed and stuff.

So The Irishman will happen, but it is a question of when. I haven’t read the current Steve Zaillian script, but have heard rumblings that it has some too-familiar notes from Goodfellas. Hopefully the time that the director will take making Silence can be used to further tune the script so that it really stands alone as its own story.

In the meantime, I’m very excited to see footage from Hugo Cabret, which is the director’s first movie based on material for kids, and his first foray into 3D. By some accounts that 3D aspect was difficult to work through, and in general it sounds as if Hugo Cabret was a challenge for the master director. That could be a very good thing, as it would mean that any tendency to rely on autopilot-like technique would have been forced off. I don’t think that Martin Scorsese is someone who works on autopilot, mind you, but being forced to approach work from a new perspective can be useful even for a master director.

[CinemaBlend, The Playlist]

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