Speaking during press rounds for "Little Fockers," De Niro confirmed the director's recent revelation that "The Irishman" is aiming for a 2011 shoot if financing falls into place, with previously reported additions of Joe Pesci and Al Pacino ready to come onboard.
Asked about new projects, De Niro told MTV, "[We] do have the one that we're definitely doing. Me, Joe Pesci, Pacino and Marty Scorsese directing."
The true story centers on Frank Sheeran, a WWII veteran who led a colorful life as a high ranking officer in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters while also dabbling in organized crime as a highly-sought-after hitman. He reportedly also had ties to the deaths of President Kennedy and Jimmy Hoffa.
Early word on the project had it envisioned as an ambitious two-part film with Steve Zaillian penning the first half and Eric Roth the second. The second film was to shoot at the same time and involve a relationship between an actor and a director (think something along the lines of “8 1/2”), with Scorsese and De Niro acting alongside each other, but the actor seems a bit doubtful as to the prospects of that one.
"We have a very good script that Steven Zaillian wrote, and that we're definitely doing," he said of the straight-forward first part. "The other idea is more ambitious, to do one with Eric doing a flashback/flashforward kind of thing and to do two movies in one and then separate them as movies. I don't know if that will happen."
We don't see a studio/financiers ponying up the dough to let De Niro and Scorsese go off and shoot a narratively ambitious riff on their own relationship and careers (as intriguing as that would be) so don't count on it happening. And while the promise of the trio of heavyweight actors and Scorsese working together sounds like a wet dream, we are a little cautious. Pacino has never worked with Scorsese and it's yet to be seen how his own personality will mesh with the already established camaraderie of Scorsese/Pesci/De Niro. Could be a great big group hug or a lot of egos fighting for attention (yes, De Niro and Pacino have worked together but certainly not as extensively as they will here and we're pretty sure they've both burned "Righteous Kill" from their memory banks). But we're worrywarts. So yeah, we're still stoked, but let's just hope the yelling is kept to a minimum.