What Robert De Niro told us about the de-aging in Martin Scorsese's Netflix movie, 'The Irishman,' and everything else we know about the process

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Martin ScorseseGetty Images Entertainment/ Stephen Lovekin

Ever since Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro teamed up last in the 1995 movie, "Casino," fans of the duo's collaborations have wondered when they would work together again. And it's finally happening with the Netflix movie "The Irishman" (opening later this year), a project the two have been wanting to do for decades. It's their most ambitious project yet.

Based on the Charles Brandt book, "I Heard You Paint Houses," the movie centers on hitman Frank Sheeran, who admitted to killing former Teamsters Union head Jimmy Hoffa. De Niro plays Sheeran, whose recollections of his days in the mob will involve flashbacks going back decades. And that is where Netflix's deep pockets come in handy.

Scorsese plans to feature his actors - along with De Niro, the movie also stars Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel - in the flashbacks de-aged thanks to Industrial Light and Magic.

In a recent interview with Yahoo Entertainment UK, Scorsese's longtime editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, revealed some more details about the process.

Here's everything we know so far about how the motion-capture technology that will be used in "The Irishman," including De Niro telling Business Insider the early stages he was a part of:

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The entire first half of the movie will be told in flashbacks.

The entire first half of the movie will be told in flashbacks.

"The Irishman" editor Thelma Schoonmaker told Yahoo that, currently, the plan is to see De Niro, Pacino, Pesci, and other actors in de-aged version in the beginning of the movie.

"We’re youthifying the actors in the first half of the movie," the Oscar-winning editor said. "And then the second half of the movie they play their own age. So that’s a big risk."

Editor Thelma Schoonmaker has not seen an entire scene yet with the actors de-aged.

Editor Thelma Schoonmaker has not seen an entire scene yet with the actors de-aged.

There seems to still be a lot of work to be done on the motion-capture side, as Schoonmaker still hasn't seen a single scene yet where the cast is de-aged. So though the plan is to have the first half of the movie all in flashback, that could change once she can finally show Scorsese what she gets out of the footage after editing it.

"I haven’t gotten a whole scene where they’re young," Schoonmaker told Yahoo, "And what I’m going to have to see, and what Marty’s going to have to see is, ‘How is it affecting the rest of the movie when you see them young?’"

A legendary Scorsese movie was used to test the de-aging motion capture for De Niro.

A legendary Scorsese movie was used to test the de-aging motion capture for De Niro.

Business Insider spoke to De Niro in May 2017 and brought up "The Irishman," which he said he had already begun doing motion-capture tests for.

"I did a scene from 'Goodfellas' and they worked on that piece and we've been slowly moving along," he said. "We're going to make it great."

"The Irishman" could show De Niro as young as his late 20s.

"The Irishman" could show De Niro as young as his late 20s.

"The Irishman" producer Gastón Pavlovich gave Cinemablend in 2017 a glimpse of how extensive Industrial Light & Magic may go with the de-aging.

"We were able to film Bob and just do a scene, and we saw it come down to when he was like 20, 40, 60, so we're looking forward to that," he said. "Imagine seeing what De Niro looked like in 'The Godfather 2' days, that's pretty much how you're going to see him again."

De Niro was in his late 20s when he played young Vito Corleone in the flashbacks scenes of "Godfather II."

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