Before we get to the news…best headline ever, right? These are the things movie fans dream about hearing about.
In February of this year, word came out of the Berlin Film Festival that legendary director Martin Scorsese was working on a new mob movie called The Irishman with Robert De Niro, re-teaming the duo responsible for creating one of the great mob movies of all time in Goodfellas. The only thing about this movie, was that it would be more of a reflection film, with an old mobster looking back on his life of crime. The movie will be based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, which details the life of Frank “the Irishman” Sheeran — one of the prime suspects in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa — as told by the Irishman himself.
To add to that, now we have word of two more potential castings that would make this so much more exciting than it already was. Word has come down that none other than Al Pacino and Joe Pecsi are set to join De Niro and Scorsese on the film, which would create a collision of incredible talents and the potential for another classic mob flick. This doesn’t seems to be signed and sealed yet, but it does look like all parties are interested and the paperwork would just need to be sorted out.
For those of you unfamiliar with the book, here’s a full synopsis of what it — and the movie, ultimately — are about.
I HEARD YOU PAINT HOUSES is a fascinating account of a dark side of American history. The book’s title comes from the first words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank “the Irishman” Sheeran. To paint a house is to kill a man. The paint is the blood that splatters on the walls and floors.
Frank Sheeran lived a long, violent, passionate life. As a boy he took on older kids in bar fights so his dad could win free beer. During World War II he was a highly decorated infantryman with 411 days of active combat duty and a willingness to follow orders. “When an officer would tell you to take a couple of German prisoners back behind the line and for you to “˜hurry back,’ you did what you had to do.” He became a hustler and hit man, working for legendary crime boss Russell Bufalino and eventually becoming one of only two non-Italians on the FBI’s famous La Cosa Nostra list. He was also a truck driver who was made head of the Teamsters local in Wilmington, Delaware, by his good friend Jimmy Hoffa. When Hoffa disappeared on July 30, 1975, Sheeran became a leading suspect, and every serious study of the Hoffa disappearance alleges that Sheeran was there.
For the first time the Irishman tells all “” a lifetime of payoffs (including hand-delivering bags of cash to Nixon’s attorney general John Mitchell) and manipulation (supporting Joe Biden’s election to the Senate with a Teamster action) “” for the book that would become his deathbed confession. He died on December 14, 2003.
Sheeran also provides shocking new information on notorious mob hits: Joseph “Crazy Joey” Gallo “” blown away as he celebrated his forty-third birthday in New York’s Little Italy; Salvatore “Sally Bugs” Briguglio “” long suspected of being a player in the plot to kill Hoffa. And offers new insights to the crusading of Robert Kennedy and the death of John F. Kennedy.
This historic account is based on interviews of Frank Sheeran by Charles Brandt, who researched, cross-checked, and illuminated what Sheeran told him and turned it all into a gripping narrative that is sure to become an instant true crime classic.
With how busy most of these gentlemen tend to be, it’s unclear when this might happen. It’s currently being developed at Paramount Pictures by De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and their Tribeca Productions. Hopefully, all will realize the potential and throw this beast on the fast track.