Joe Pesci has officially signed onto the real-life based crime drama The Irishman reuniting his with director Martin Scorsese. Pesci is the first actor to sign onto the film project that will get the band back together.
Al Pacino is currently finalizing his deal to play Jimmy Hoffa in the film with Robert De Niro, who will play a mob hitman that is supposedly involved in the death of Hoffa. Deadline Hollywood reports that Harvey Keitel and Bobby Cannavale are also considering to join the production. According to the report:
Pesci’s involvement comes after the actor said no multiple times (some say about 50); a deal was just sealed this week. He will portray Russell Bufalino, a Mafia boss out of Pennsylvania who has been long suspected of having a hand in the Hoffa’s disappearance.
It's great to see that Scorsese was able to talk him into it! The Irishman will mark the third time that Pacino and Scorsese have worked together. The film starts shooting next month in New York.
This film is based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses written by Charles Brandt. There's a lot of controversy surrounding the story. The story is based on the deathbed confession of Frank "The Irishman” Sheeran.
"The hit man claimed to tell the real story of the disappearance of former Teamsters boss Hoffa. However, the account Sheeran told to Brandt has been disputed. Still, the FBI actually thought enough of Sheeran’s confession to pull up several floor boards from a house where he said he shot and killed Hoffa to look for DNA evidence. Latter the bureau said that the samples found weren’t from Hoffa."
The movie is being produced by Netflix. I included the full description of the book below:
I HEARD YOU PAINT HOUSES is a fascinating account of a dark side of American history. The book’s title comes from the first words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank "the Irishman" Sheeran. To paint a house is to kill a man. The paint is the blood that splatters on the walls and floors.
Frank Sheeran lived a long, violent, passionate life. As a boy he took on older kids in bar fights so his dad could win free beer. During World War II he was a highly decorated infantryman with 411 days of active combat duty and a willingness to follow orders. "When an officer would tell you to take a couple of German prisoners back behind the line and for you to ‘hurry back,’ you did what you had to do." He became a hustler and hit man, working for legendary crime boss Russell Bufalino and eventually becoming one of only two non-Italians on the FBI’s famous La Cosa Nostra list. He was also a truck driver who was made head of the Teamsters local in Wilmington, Delaware, by his good friend Jimmy Hoffa. When Hoffa disappeared on July 30, 1975, Sheeran became a leading suspect, and every serious study of the Hoffa disappearance alleges that Sheeran was there.
For the first time the Irishman tells all — a lifetime of payoffs (including hand-delivering bags of cash to Nixon’s attorney general John Mitchell) and manipulation (supporting Joe Biden’s election to the Senate with a Teamster action) — for the book that would become his deathbed confession. He died on December 14, 2003.
Sheeran also provides shocking new information on notorious mob hits: Joseph "Crazy Joey" Gallo — blown away as he celebrated his forty-third birthday in New York’s Little Italy; Salvatore "Sally Bugs" Briguglio — long suspected of being a player in the plot to kill Hoffa. And offers new insights to the crusading of Robert Kennedy and the death of John F. Kennedy.
This historic account is based on interviews of Frank Sheeran by Charles Brandt, who researched, cross-checked, and illuminated what Sheeran told him and turned it all into a gripping narrative that is sure to become an instant true crime classic.