The Irishman, a highly anticipated film this year, is finally available on Netflix. An ambitious work by Martin Scorsese, marked by incredible technological feats used to de-age the actors.
Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel and Joe Pesci in a film directed by Martin Scorsese... you are not dreaming, that is what awaits you in The Irishman, one of the film events of the end of the year. A much-awaited film, especially because it will be released only on Netflix, which has therefore obtained a dream cast to mark the occasion.
De Niro, thirty years old and eighty years old in the same film
For his new film, Scorsese looked at a world he knows well: the mafia. In this 3h30 work, the story spans 50 years, with continuous comings and goings over time. Rather than hiring young actors to play the role, it was, therefore, necessary to give De Niro the features of a character in his thirties, fifties and eighties. No motion capture (like for Carrie Fischer in ‘Rogue One’) but a revolutionary new process...
The director, therefore, called on Pablo Helman, visual effects supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic. He and his team developed a technology that can digitally rejuvenate the faces of actors, without having to wear a helmet with sensors all over it.
Using cameras and associated software, Industrial Light & Magic was able to capture the actors' facial expressions and translate them into the younger 3D versions of the actors. An expensive de-ageing technology that many studios before refused to finance... but not Netflix.
In addition to adding or removing wrinkles, it was also necessary to logically record the movements of the characters according to age. Indeed, a 30 and 80-year-old body does not move in the same way. So the production hired a physiotherapist, Gary Tacon, who worked with the actors on their movements. Not to mention an equally important work on costumes and sets, which span 50 years of American mafia history between Philadelphia and New York, and so we can better understand why the budget reached such a crazy amount…