In Martin Scorsese's upcoming "The Irishman" a 77 year-old Al Pacino will play 39-year-old Jimmy Hoffa, all this done through Industrial Light & Magic "de-aging"

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The most mounting concern for me about Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman" an upcoming Netflix epic with a $140 million, is the de-aging process that will be taking place post-production. On The Ringer‘s Bill Simmons Podcast, Al Pacino — who plays Jimmy Hoffa in the upcoming film — spoke about having to play a 39-year-old while actually being 77 in real life.

“I was playing Jimmy Hoffa at the age of 39, they’re doing that on a computer,” said Pacino. Industrial Light & Magic will be taking care of the de-aging and Pacino explained that "computers mounted on the sides of cameras were programmed to capture the actors at various ages, making them appear physically transformed in every frame."We went through all these tests and things,” he continued that before every scene “Someone would come up to me and say, ‘You’re 39.’ [You’d recall] some sort of memory of 39, and your body tries to acclimate to that and think that way. They remind you of it.”

This is the same company that worked on “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and Lola VFX were responsible for Michael Douglas appearing much younger in “Ant-Man.” Ang Lee will also be using them for “Gemini Man,” which has Will Smith fighting himself. 

I recently re-watched "Benjamin Button" just to see what the potential is for this kind of ordeal and, I must say, despite the mixed feelings I have for the film, the VFX that was achieved in that film was ASTOUNDING. Then again, I'm not sure what to make of Michael Douglas' de-aging in "Ant-Man," which felt rather chilly and distant to my eyes. I would assume the technology has gotten better 4 years since that release, and that Scorsese wouldn't just hop onboard this train if he didn't see some kind of potential in it without the results looking ridiculous.

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"The Irishman" is supposed to be released next year but I have the feeling that we might just have it  before the year is done. Filming ended on March 5th, which gives Scorsese, his editor Thelma Schoonmaker and the VFX team close to 9 months to complete the damn thing.