Sightings of Joe Pesci around Hollywood in the last decade have become more rare than proof of the Yeti, but the actor is making his return to join the cast of the upcoming Martin Scorsese film, The Irishman. The addition of the sem-retired actor marks one more major mileston for the film. Along with a cast that already includes Rober De Niro, Al Pacino, Bobby Cannavale, and Harvey Keitel, The Irishman will also be forgoing a big screen release in favor of going direct to Netflix sometime in 2018.
According to reports, Pesci actually turned the part down several times, but was eventually convinced by the director’s long-time editing partner, Thelma Schoonmaker.
The film is based off the book, “I heard you paint houses” by Charles Brandt. Here’s the story description from Amazon:
The first words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank “the Irishman” Sheeran were, “I heard you paint houses.” 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 he 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, he 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.