Martin Scorsese's mob epic 'The Irishman' lands metro Detroit screenings before Netflix release


  • Netflix

Though the 1975 disappearance of notorious Detroit Teamster Jimmy Hoffa remains an unsolved mystery, as to when Detroit will get a sneak peek at Martin Scorsese's Oscar-contending, star-laden, decade-spanning, 3.5-hour mob epic is not. In fact, it's getting special treatment.

Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel star in The Irishman, which will open in three metro Detroit theaters starting Nov. 15, including Birmingham 8, Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak, and Ann Arbor's Michigan Theater. The film arrives on Netflix Nov. 27.

Per the film's logline, The Irishman centers on “a mob hitman [who] recalls his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa.” 

The real-life hitman, Frank Sheeran (played by De Niro), has made claims that he killed Hoffa (brought to life by Pacino) outside of Detroit. The film is largely inspired by the 2004 book, I Heard You Paint Houses, which corroborates Sheeran's confessions to the murder.

Neither the lack of a formal wide theatrical release nor Scorsese's scathing comments about Marvel movies not being “cinema” (that inspired backlash from fans and apparently warranted clarification in a New York Times op-ed from the celebrated director) can stop The Irishman from generating early Oscar buzz. Netflix forked out a whopping $159 million price tag for the film, and since its New York Film Festival premiere in September it has become a clear frontrunner for Best Picture for the 2020 Academy Awards.

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