Robert DeNiro has had a year of reunions. His two 2008 credits are Righteous Kill, the crime thriller notable solely because it reunited him with his Heat co-star Al Pacino, and the forthcoming What Just Happened?, a Hollywood satire that lands him back in the hands of Barry Levinson, the director of Wag the Dog and Sleepers.
Neither of those films are likely to advance a twilight career that’s
depressed even his most ardent followers, but Variety brings word that the actor has a new film in the pipeline that could bring him back to his vaunted past (literally). DeNiro will star in I Heard You Paint Houses, an adaptation of Charles Brandt’s book about the
Jimmy Hoffa disappearance, with Martin Scorsese—DeNiro’s director on
Raging Bull and Goodfellas—attached to helm.
The film, to be penned for Paramount by Steve Zaillian (American
Gangster, Schindler’s List), follows the story of Hoffa’s supposed
assassin Frank Sheeran (DeNiro), who many believe was ordered by the
mob to take out the former union boss. The title refers to a contract hit in mobspeak—the "paint" being the splattered blood left behind on the walls.
The film is still a few years off; Scorsese only recently wrapped his adaptation of Dennis Lehane's
Shutter Island and has other projects in his sights to take on first,
and DeNiro is booked for at least four more movies (including two more
involving organized crime). But to know that two of the players behind
the most influential gangster movie of the last quarter-century will
reunite for a new one, whatever their career detours, is pretty big news.
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