Watch: Behind-the-scenes on The Irishman’s anti-ageing VFX
James R | On 05, Jan 2020
With the awards season underway, Netflix isn’t shying away from showing off the work that went into The Irishman behind-the-scenes.
Martin Scorsese’s epic saga of organised crime in post-war America is told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century. Spanning decades, the film chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history, the disappearance of legendary union boss Jimmy Hoffa, and offers a monumental journey through the hidden corridors of organised crime: its inner workings, rivalries and connections to mainstream politics.
“A mature, thoughtful reflection on the consequences of past actions, Scorsese’s patient crime drama is a masterclass in restraint,” we wrote in our five-star review.
According to Netflix, the film was watched by more than 26 million accounts in its first week on the streaming service – a testament to the star power of Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Martin Scorsese. But equally astounding is the technological wizardry that went into making De Niro, Pesci and Pacino look younger than they are.
Indeed, the project’s escalating budget saw previous backers Paramount back away several years ago, because the use of CGI to de-age the cast was not only experimental but also expensive. With Scorsese’s Silence also not performing at the box office, execs got cold feet about the whole thing.
Enter Netflix, with Scorsese saying he went with them because of the appeal of “having the backing of a company that says that you will have no interference, you can make the picture as you want”.
Now, we’ve got our first proper look in action of how the VFX team pulled off the de-ageing trickery, step by step:
The Irishman is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £9.99 monthly subscription.