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Martin Scorsese's The Irishman gains traction at Cannes

Hugo, Martin Scorsese

Story by Jack Foley

MARTIN Scorsese’s long-gestating gangster project The Irishman has moved a few steps closer to becoming a reality thanks to some impressive business at Cannes.

Having been languishing in search of an international distributor for some months, the film – which would mark the director’s reunion with Robert De Niro for another gangster drama – has finally landed STX as a handler for its international distribution, with Paramount taking on the US.

Following a fierce bidding war, STX will now shop the project to international buyers gathered at Cannes.

And there is every reason to be excited at this latest development given that The Irishman not only reunites Scorsese with De Niro but also Joe Pesci, following their work on Goodfellas and Casino.

Al Pacino is also attached to co-star, while Steve Zaillian wrote the script.

The film will find De Niro playing Frank Sheeran, a high-ranking Teamsters official with ties to the Bufalino crime family. Shortly before his death in 2003, Sheeran confessed that he killed fellow Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa, whose body has never been found.

He also claimed that it was Hoffa who wanted John F. Kennedy killed.

With the STX deal in place, The Irishman – which is based on Charles Brandt’s best-selling book I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa – the movie has also finally gotten a start date – with Scorsese set to start shooting in January following the release of his upcoming passion project, Silence.

STX International president David Kosse commented: “We could not be more excited or privileged to have secured the international rights to this incredible motion picture. Fabrica de Cine’s vision and support in putting together this film is incredible.

“Martin Scorsese is one of the world’s most accomplished filmmakers and The Irishman is precisely the kind of premier tent-pole programming that will help distinguish STX as we continue to build our studio and especially our infrastructure overseas.”

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