The Irishman first look

Martin Scorsese‘s highly anticipated The Irishman will have its world premiere at this year’s New York Film Festival. There was some question about whether or not Scorsese’s crime epic would be a part of festival season, as the filmmaker was still putting the finishing touch on extensive VFX work for the movie. Now it looks like Scorsese is confident enough to unleash the pic to a crowd, as it becomes the Opening Night film of the 57th New York Film Festival. See the first images of the film below.

With The Irishman, Martin Scorsese reunites with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci for a new crime epic – one that will also mark his first collaboration with Al Pacino. In short, it’s a big deal, and cinephiles have been aching to lay eyes on this thing. Netflix will be releasing The Irishman later this fall, but first, audiences will have a chance to catch it as the Opening Night film of this year’s New York Film Festival.

This news comes with the first two official images of the film, as well as a synopsis.

The Irishman is a richly textured epic of American crime, a dense, complex story told with astonishing fluidity. Based on Charles Brandt’s nonfiction book I Heard You Paint Houses, it is a film about friendship and loyalty between men who commit unspeakable acts and turn on a dime against each other, and the possibility of redemption in a world where it seems as distant as the moon. The roster of talent behind and in front of the camera is astonishing, and at the core of The Irishman are four great artists collectively hitting a new peak: Joe Pesci as Pennsylvania mob boss Russell Bufalino, Al Pacino as Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa, and Robert De Niro as their right-hand man, Frank Sheeran, each working in the closest harmony imaginable with the film’s incomparable creator, Martin Scorsese.

“It’s an incredible honor that The Irishman has been selected as the Opening Night of the New York Film Festival. I greatly admire the bold and visionary selections that the festival presents to audiences year after year,” said Martin Scorsese. “The festival is critical to bringing awareness to cinema from around the world. I am grateful to have the opportunity to premiere my new picture in New York alongside my wonderful cast and crew.”

New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones added:

The Irishman is so many things: rich, funny, troubling, entertaining and, like all great movies, absolutely singular.  It’s the work of masters, made with a command of the art of cinema that I’ve seen very rarely in my lifetime, and it plays out at a level of subtlety and human intimacy that truly stunned me. All I can say is that the minute it was over my immediate reaction was that I wanted to watch it all over again.”

The Irishman is based on the True Crime book I Heard You Paint Houses, in which Frank Sheeran claimed he was the man who killed Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa. Crime flicks are nothing new for Scorsese, but the approach the filmmaker is taking here is a bit different. Since The Irishman spans several decades, Scorsese has opted to use VFX technology to de-age his actors to show them as younger men – similar to the work Marvel did this year with Samuel L. Jackson in Captain Marvel. It’s a risky move, and it could backfire if it doesn’t look right. But it sounds like things are finally in place.

The New York Film Festival runs September 27October 13.

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