If that’s not enough to appeal to the faithful, the addition of both Al Pacino and Joe Pesci to the cast will probably push some people right over the edge – all these movie tough nuts, mobbing about together.
The film is about Frank Sheeran, a teamster who claimed to be the man who killed Jimmy Hoffa. Speaking to The Observer this weekend, DeNiro says the project is being worked on now, it’s just a question of scheduling:
Oh yeah, we’re working on something now. It’s called I Heard You Paint Houses. We’ve been trying to get it going for a couple of years and now we’re just trying to set a time. It’s about a guy called Frank Sheeran who was in the Teamsters [a US union] and claimed to have killed Jimmy Hoffa [the controversial union leader who disappeared in 1975]. It’s based on a book by Charles Brandt who was Sheeran’s lawyer. I’d play Frank Sheeran and Pacino would play Hoffa. Joe Pesci would be in it too.
Those annotations are from The Observer but were useful, so I thought I should leave them in place.
When he’s asked if Houses is going to happen in the next year or two, DeNiro said:
It has to or we all won’t be around any more.
Which isn’t particularly cheerful, unless you take it as a threat on the life of one of the others. Then it’s just jolly mob threat fun, right? That’s what we like from these guys – made men and shine boxes and all that.
I should note that the film has been called The Irishman, from time to time, but we’re going with DeNiro’s comments here as they’re the most up to date. Still, I bet it is called something closer to The Irishman if and when it’s released. The name I Heard You Paint Houses sounds like box office poison, unfortunately.
The rest of the interview is certainly worth a read. Let me excerpt one more piece, in which DeNiro summarises a few of his other upcoming pictures:
Let’s see. I’m doing a movie with Stallone called Grudge Match, about these older boxers who come together for one last fight. I guess it’s a comedy of sorts. I did a movie called Motel with John Cusack. And something with Travolta called Killing Season. Right now I’m working on a film called Last Vegas with Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Michael Douglas.
We’d be lucky if any are one half as good as The Silver Linings Playbook, currently in cinemas and the reason for the interview, and which sees DeNiro deliver the best performance he has since… well, for as long as I can remember really.