Last night's Oscars telecast was decidedly short on the "new movie trailer" front, but we did get one little surprise during the telecast: the very first teaser for Martin Scorsese's long-gestating hitman epic, The Irishman. Based on Charles Brandt's I Heard You Paint Houses, the film stars Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel, and is therefore one of our most highly-anticipated releases of the year.
Let's take a look...
Hm. Well, that was kinda underwhelming, wasn't it? For one thing, it feels like a massive missed opportunity not to include a shot of the digitally de-aged DeNiro who'll apparently be onscreen for much of The Irishman's running time, and some of the line readings excerpted here feel ... just a little off? Also this ad's Big Idea is to have a bullet standing in for the letter I? Was this conceptualized ten minutes before it went to air? This one probably could've used another pass.
Here's a plot synopsis for Brandt's book, just in case you're not already familiar with the subject matter:
"I heard you paint houses" are he 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. In the course of nearly five years of recorded interviews Frank Sheeran confessed to Charles Brandt that he handled more than twenty-five hits for the mob, and for his friend Hoffa.
Sheeran learned to kill in the U.S. Army, where he saw an astonishing 411 days of active combat duty in Italy during World War II. After returning home he became a hustler and hit man, working for legendary crime boss Russell Bufalino. Eventually Sheeran would rise to a position of such prominence that in a RICO suit then-U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani would name him as one of only two non-Italians on a list of 26 top mob figures.
When Bufalino ordered Sheeran to kill Hoffa, the Irishman did the deed, knowing that if he had refused he would have been killed himself.
Sheeran's important and fascinating story includes new information on other famous murders including those of Joey Gallo and JFK, and provides rare insight to a chapter in American history. Charles Brandt has written a page-turner that has become a true crime classic.
We're guessing a more elaborate trailer will be along somewhat soon. Until then, we've got this one to remind us that The Irishman really is happening after all this time, and that it'll be along this fall. Oh, and also, that - much like Alfonso Cuaron's Roma - Netflix is giving Scorsese's latest a theatrical release. 70mm too much to hope for or nah?
Stay tuned for more on Netflix's The Irishman as further updates become available.