Al Pacino and Joe Pesci are reportedly “circling” The Irishman, the prospective Martin Scorsese-directed, Robert De Niro-starring drama about Frank Sheeran, the totally legit former labor union official who may or may not have had something to do with the murder of Jimmy Hoffa, if indeed that is what happened, and we’re not saying that it did. De Niro’s been talking about the project—which would be based on Charles Brandt’s book I Heard You Paint Houses—since last spring, when he told MTV that he and Scorsese envisioned the project as essentially two films, one a straight gangster picture with a script by Steve Zaillian, the other a “semi-biographical type of Hollywood movie [about] a director and the actor—based on things Marty and I have experienced and kind of overlapping them” in the mode of Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2, to be scripted by Eric Roth.
There’s no word in this latest report if that is still the direction they’re planning to take now that Pesci and Pacino are being considered, and obviously it’s difficult to discern any lingering hint of layered, self-reflexive subtext over the screaming of our collective boner. And of course, there’s no reason to bust out “Gimme Shelter” just yet: Scorsese’s got a few other projects—including Hugo Cabret and an adaptation of Shusako Endo’s Silence—still in the pipeline before he can get the old, No DiCaprios Club back together. Still, the idea of one last hurrah from the definitive movie mobster collective is pretty exciting—and whatever form it takes, it’s all but guaranteed to make up for Righteous Kill.