Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman' to Close London Film Festival
The festival will open with Armando Iannucci's 'The Personal History of David Copperfield.'
Martin Scorsese's hotly anticipated all-star gangster epic The Irishman is set to close this year's BFI London Film Festival, organizers unveiled Monday.
The Netflix film — starring Academy Award winners Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci — will have its international premiere in London on Oct. 13, two weeks after its world premiere as the opening night film of the New York Film Festival.
Marking Scorsese's ninth collaboration with star De Niro, The Irishman was adapted by Steve Zaillian from Charles Brandt's book I Heard You Paint Houses about Frank Sheeran (De Niro), a World War II veteran and high-ranking Teamsters official with ties to the Bufalino crime family who confessed, shortly before his death in 2003, that he killed fellow Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa, whose body has never been found. The film covers decades of Sheeran's life, using CGI to create a younger and de-aged version of the 75-year-old De Niro.
Pacino plays Hoffa, and Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Jesse Plemons, Anna Paquin, Bobby Cannavale, Sebastian Maniscalco and Ray Romano round out the star-studded cast. Producers on the film include Scorsese, De Niro, Randall Emmett, Jane Rosenthal, Emma Tillinger Koskoff and Irwin Winkler.
"I’m extremely honored to be having the international premiere of The Irishman at the closing night of the BFI London Film Festival," said Scorsese. "This picture was many years in the making. It’s a project that Robert De Niro and I started talking about a long time ago, and we wanted to make it the way it needed to be made. It’s also a picture that all of us could only have made at this point in our lives. We’re all very excited to be bringing The Irishman to London."
The film, which was first announced in 2008 and was previously set up at Paramount, will be released later this year in select theaters and on Netflix, which picked up the project in 2017.
"What an immense cinephile thrill it is to close the 63rd BFI London Film Festival with the international premiere of Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman," said Tricia Tuttle, London Film Festival director. "British Film Institute Fellow Scorsese is one of the true greats of cinema — as both a creator and a tireless champion of preservation and film history — and here he and his creative team have delivered an epic of breathtakingly audacious scale and complexity, exploring relationships of trust and betrayal, regret and remorselessness, which dominated a period of American history. This is a major occasion for film lovers and I cannot wait to share this film with U.K. audiences."
The 63rd edition of the festival is set to open Oct. 2 with Armando Iannucci's Charles Dickens adaptation The Personal History of David Copperfield. The full lineup will be announced Aug. 29.