Joe Pesci joins Scorsese, De Niro on ‘The Irishman’

Los Angeles, July 13 — Three key names from Goodfellas are reuniting for another mafia crime thriller in The Irishman, with Joe Pesci agreeing to board the 2018 Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro production.

With Robert De Niro already in place as Frank Sheeran, a mob enforcer known as The Irishman, Joe Pesci comes in to play Russell Bufalino, the mafia boss who was his mentor.

US film director Martin Scorsese (C) is joined by US actors Joe Pesci (R) and Sharon Stone (L) as he receives his new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in Los Angeles, CA, 28 February 2003. Scorsese directed Stone and Pesci in the 1995 film ‘Casino.’ AFP PHOTO/Lucy NICHOLSON / AFP PHOTO / LUCY NICHOLSON

The film is based on a 2003 confessional written by Charles Brandt, I Heard You Paint Houses, based on conversations with Sheeran himself, and Steve Zaillian of Scorsese’s Gangs of New York provided the screenplay treatment.

The Irishman makes for a ninth actor-director partnership between De Niro and Scorsese.

Also expected to become involved in front of camera are Harvey Keitel (Scorsese’s Mean Streets and Taxi Driver,) and Bobby Cannavale of Boardwalk Empire, Mr. Robot, and Scorsese project Vinyl, according to Deadline.

Film Editor Thelma Schoolmaker has a longstanding professional relationship with the director, having received Academy Awards for Raging Bull, The Aviator, and The Departed, as well as nominations for Hugo, Gangs of New York, and Goodfellas.

Likewise, cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto provided lens work on Silence, Vinyl, and Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street.

Joe Pesci retired from acting in 1999, calling time on a career that included the two Home Alone movies, three Lethal Weapon films, Sergio Leone’s One Upon a Time in America, Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker, and Robert De Niro’s two films A Bronx Tale and The Good Shepherd, and the Martin Scorsese movies Raging Bull and Casino.

The Good Shepherd marked Pesci’s return from retirement, after which he appeared in desert town drama Love Ranch and Russian animated feature A Warrior’s Tale.