the irishman vfx

We still haven’t seen any footage of Martin Scorsese‘s The Irishman, and there’s a good reason for that. Scorsese and company are working hard to make the film’s special effects perfect. The movie spans several decades, and rather than cast different actors to play the cast of characters throughout time, Scorsese instead employed the type of de-aging tech Marvel uses. Robert De Niro, who reunites with Scorsese to star in the film, offered some insight into the process.

Sooner or later, Netflix is going to have to show us footage of Martin Scorsese’s highly anticipated The Irishman. But for now, we can do nothing but sit and wait to lay eyes on the mob epic. A teaser trailer dropped during the Oscars earlier this year, but not a single bit of footage was shown. It’s easy to guess why: it just isn’t ready yet. Scorsese’s film follows the true story of Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (De Niro), a mob hitman who claims to have killed Jimmy Hoffa (played in the movie by Al Pacino).

The Irishman spans about 30 years, which means Scorsese had to de-age his cast – which also includes Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel – for several scenes. To do so, the acclaimed filmmaker turned to the type of de-aging VFX that Marvel has been using for a while now, most recently in Captain Marvel, where they made Samuel L. Jackson look considerably younger.

In a recent interview with IndieWire, De Niro provided some details on The Irishman VFX work. “They’re trying to really make it the best it’s ever been,” the actor said. “What I’ve seen looks really good.”

De Niro has worked with similar de-aging effects before, in the mostly forgotten boxing comedy Grudge Match, released in 2013. But the tech has improved significantly since then. “When I did it in Grudge Match, we had more obstructive things on,” De Niro said. “Marty was concerned, rightly so, that we should not have things on us that would be distracting. We had some dots, some reflective things, all subtle stuff.”

The actor’s producing partner Jane Rosenthal weighed-in at this point, adding: “They did have this three-headed monster of a camera that was around all the time. They had hair and costumes of the period, but they didn’t have to worry about anything else that was intrusive. So the goal here was that it was a more intuitive way of working for an actor.”

I’ve been hyped for The Irishman for quite some time now, and I’m dying to see some footage. I will admit that a year ago, I was a bit nervous about the de-aging aspect, worrying that it might be distracting. After seeing Samuel L. Jackson in Captain Marvel, however, I feel a lot better. The effects work done on Jackson were seamless – there was never a moment where I thought it looked fake, or digital. If Scorsese and his team can do the same – or even better – it shouldn’t be a problem.

The Irishman will arrive this fall.

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