The Irishman Had Robert De Niro Recreate GoodFellas Scene to Test De-Aging Tech

Posted 2019/09/0140


Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman took some pretty big gambles. The story spans multiple decades and the legendary director had to find a way to make Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci look young again. This was not an easy task, even with how good the technology is these days.

But, in order to get a feel for how it would look, Scorsese had De Niro come in and reenact a classic scene from Goodfellas to do a side-by-side comparison. Industrial Light & Magic’s Pablo Helman had this to say.

“We made a little set that looked a little like the original film, and then Bob got going. He did his monologues and soliloquies and different expressions. ‘Get rid of the fur coat! Get rid of the Cadillac!’ Then he went through a series of computer processes.”

When Martin Scorsese and ILM looked back at what they had done, they knew they were on the right track. “We all decided,” recalls Scorsese, “‘This is going to work.'” When talking about the de-aging process used in The Irishman, the director prefers to call it “youthification.” The revolutionary effect will undoubtedly leave an impact on the future of movie making. But for Scorsese, it was a way to finally tell a story he has wanted to share for over a decade now. He explains.

“I really had no choice. The risk was there, and that was it. We just tried to make the film. After sitting on the couch for ten years… we finally had a way.”

Even though Martin Scorsese and crew knew they made the right choice with the de-aging process, there was still some lingering doubt when The Irishman hit the post-production stage. Long-time Scorsese collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker revealed there were still some issues that they were trying to work out and noted that the movie hinged on getting the special effects done in the correct way. With that being said, they’ve accomplished their goal as evidenced by the first trailer for the upcoming movie.

Martin Scorsese The Irishman is based on Charles Brandt’s book I Heard You Paint Houses, and it marks the ninth collaboration between Robert De Niro and the director. They’ve also set plans to work on a tenth project with Leonardo DiCaprio. The Irishman unites Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci for the first time in a Scorsese project since 1995’s Casino and fans are excited to see what the director has done this time around.

Related: The Irishman Producer Says Scorsese’s Next Is Funny Like Goodfellas

The Irishman hits select theaters on November 1st in Los Angeles and New York and the hits Netflix on November 27th. If checking out the movie in theaters, one should know that it is Martin Scorsese’s longest movie of his career, clocking in at three-and-a-half hours. Regardless, the gangster movie is one of the highest anticipated releases of the year and there are going to be a lot of eyes on it when it premieres. The interview with Scorsese was originally conducted by Empire.

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