Scorsese and cast are expected to attend the London screening, which will take place two weeks after The Irishman‘s world premiere at the New York Film Festival. The booking represents a coup for the UK festival.
Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci lead cast in the feature, which reunites Scorsese with his Gangs of New York screenwriter Steve Zaillian, who adapted Charles Brandt’s novel I Heard You Paint Houses. The grand scale epic examines the influence of organized crime in post-war America. Told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran (De Niro), a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th Century, the pic chronicles the disappearance of legendary union president Jimmy Hoffa.
The Netflix-backed movie, which features a large amount of VFX to ‘de-age’ its lead cast, is one of the platform’s major Oscar season hopefuls. A Netflix release date has yet to be announced but an October or early November launch on the service seems likely given these autumn festival screenings.
Scorsese commented on the London berth, “I’m extremely honored to be having the international premiere of The Irishman at the closing night of the BFI London Film Festival. 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.”
Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival director added, “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. 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 UK audiences.”
The full London festival program will be announced on Thursday, 29 August 2019. The event will open with The Personal History Of David Copperfield.