Like most cinephiles, I was vaguely aware that Joe Pesci has been retired from acting for a while now, but I assumed that meant he had made a few low-budget movies in the early 2000s and walked away. Imagine my surprise, then, when I realized that Pesci has made exactly two live-action movies since Lethal Weapon 4 in 1998. One was The Good Shepherd, the Robert De Niro-directed 2006 drama about the early history of the CIA. And if a close friend can lure Joe Pesci out of retirement once, maybe he can do it again.
Robert De Niro
When Meryl Streep took the stage at the Golden Globes ceremony and delivered an impassioned speech calling out President-Elect Donald Trump as an overbearing bully, everyone had their reaction. Many rose up in support of the esteemed actress, celebrating her fiery diatribe as a heroic display of speaking truth to power. Others took issue with her anti-Trump stance, painting the woman as another pampered Hollywood liberal trapped within her bubble of privilege. A third, smaller faction of mixed martial arts enthusiasts took grave offense to Streep’s fleeting diss leveled at MMA and NFL football, and invited the multiple Academy Award winner to settle the matter in the octagon.
It’s one of the most famous lines in movie history: “You talkin’ to me?” But did you know that signature dialogue from Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver wasn’t even in Paul Schrader’s original script? Robert De Niro improvised it on set, after hearing Bruce Springsteen of all people say it at a concert a few days before shooting the scene. At the concert, during a particularly loud burst of applause, The Boss feigned humility and joked “You talkin’ to me?” De Niro remembered the moment and used it in the film to make history. That’s just one of the facts featured in the newest episode of You Think You Know Movies!
A helpful mantra to repeat to yourself while reading this article might be “I trust Martin Scorsese. I trust Martin Scorsese. I trust Martin Scorsese.” And whatever you do, try to envision Benjamin Button and not, say, a certain baffling posthumous CGI rendering featured in Rogue One. That said, here’s the news: Martin Scorsese is planning to use advanced CGI technology to de-age Robert De Niro in The Irishman — come to think of it, they’ve been planning this movie for so long that de-aging De Niro seems reasonable.
It’s been a rough year and at the end of 2016 nothing would be more needed and appreciated by American audiences than a good ol’ comedy. It’s too bad the first trailer for Robert De Niro’s The Comedian isn’t, um, very funny.
It was a few months ago we heard even David O. Russell was getting in on the TV game, flanked by none other than Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore, but the big break is finally here. Not only does the limited series have a two-season order locked up at Amazon, reports suggest it might be a mafia series.
Martin Scorsese has been talking about making The Irishman for so long that we were starting to think that the crime drama would never happen — much like his Frank Sinatra movie. And while we still have no clue if Silence is hitting theaters later this year, it looks like the iconic director is getting ready to defy our skepticism as The Irishman does indeed appear to be his next film.
Television is all about the limited series right now, and David O. Russell is cashing in on the trend.
To say that Robert De Niro needs a hit movie isn’t exactly true. De Niro has been responsible for so many iconic films and characters over his 50 years of acting that he has pretty much earned the right to do whatever he pleases. If he wants to make sex comedies with Zac Efron, he can make sex comedies with Zac Ephron. If wants to only pop in for guest appearances in David O. Russell films, well, hey, he can do that to.
It was reported last week that foreign distribution rights were being shopped around Cannes for Martin Scorsese’s long-developing mob drama The Irishman — a project that’s been gestating for so long that we started to think it might not ever happen. But STX Entertainment has snatched up the rights to distribute the film overseas, which means that The Irishman is finally happening after all.