I Heard Scorsese and De Niro Might PAINT HOUSES

     October 2, 2008

Written by Matt Goldberg

A re-teaming of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro seems like an odd pairing at this point in time. While their past collaboration yielded classics like “Taxi Driver”, “Mean Streets” and “Goodfellas”, Scorcese seems to have moved on to the younger and more daring Leonard DiCaprio while De Niro has moved on to phoning it in. However, Paramount wants the two to return to not just working together, but to working together on a movie that’s about organized crime but in no way advancing a negative stereotype about Italians.

Steve Zallian is at work adapting the book, “I Heard You Paint Houses”, which is about the mob assassin who many believe was responsible for the death of Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa. The title comes from how mobsters inquire about a hitman and hiring them for a job. However, this code has also led to unfortunate miscommunications resulting in very alive targets happily residing in freshly painted homes.

While Scorcese is attached to direct, he also has “Silence”, “The Wolf of Wall Street”, and “The Long Play” on his plate. I hope he keeps “Houses” on the back-burner until De Niro decides that he wants to turn in a real performance and not just a riff on his previous tough guy roles.

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