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Robert De Niro talks The Irishman's digital de-aging process on Fallon

Screenshot: The Irishman (YouTube)

A revealing new trailer for Martin Scorsese’s anticipated The Irishman arrived last night when star Robert De Niro promoted the picture on last night’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The trailer itself offers a few glimpses into the film’s much-discussed digital de-aging process, which has been significant in light of it reportedly being used for large chunks of the film. From what we’ve seen, the results are a touch uncanny, but nowhere near Justice League bad, and Fallon further flaunts the process with a few stills that depict De Niro’s Frank Sheeran in his 20s, 40s, 60s, and 80s.

“It took a lot of work to do,” De Niro says, a statement both technologically accurate and, considering that he is, in fact, very old, very funny. “I’m happy, because maybe it’ll extend my career another 30 years.”


By his account, De Niro wasn’t peppered in tracking markers and green fabric like a Marvel actor, saying Scorsese didn’t want those elements to get in the way of the performances. He did, however, elaborate upon the myriad cameras used to help achieve the effect. He also clarified that one shouldn’t go into The Irishman expecting another Goodfellas. “It’s a very simple story,” he says. “It’s about loyalty and a guy stuck in the middle of two people—he had to make a choice. [It was] a matter of survival for him to make the choice that he did.”

Fallon, meanwhile, slams on his desk like a lunatic while gesticulating about how amazing the movie is, but, you know, it’s Fallon. Watch the clip below.

The Irishman premieres at the New York Film Festival on Friday, sees a limited release on November 1, and lands on Netflix on November 27.

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Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.