For a film that calls for a larger age difference, when we see a character at twenty and then again at 70 or 80, it’s often standard procedure to hire two different actors. Think Ryan Gosling and James Garner as the young and old Noah in the Notebook. (Or as I’d rather, think Ryan Gosling)
Aging backwards, making an older actor look younger than he or she is has never been quite so easy. Ask any actor (usually a woman) who has been shot through a lens smeared with vaseline to smooth over lines and wrinkles to make them look younger, and how obvious that little trick was when the camera moved, crisp and clean to another actor sharing the scene.
Times, they are a-changing. Remember how Brad Pitt aged in Benjamin Buttons? The cutting edge technology utilized by David Fincher to take Brad Pitt’s face to a whole array of ages is being used by Martin Scorsese to de-age De Niro in The Irishman. In the movie, based on Charles Brandt’s true-crime book I Heard You Paint Houses we’ll see De Niro as Frank Sheerhan, a mob hit man, go back in time from his deathbed to his twenties, as he recalls his possible involvement with the killing of Jimmy Hoffa.
According to IndieWire, producer Gaston Pavlovich says they’ve done some tests on the technology and ‘‘it looks extraordinary.’’
I gotta get me some of that!“Well, it’s an extraordinary technology that we’ve been looking at. You don’t use prosthetics, make-up, they have acting and the technology is able to have them go through different time ages without the prosthetics. So we’ve seen some tests and it looks extraordinary,” Pavlovich explained. “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, from that point of view, for ‘The Irishman’ … Imagine seeing what De Niro looked like in ‘The Godfather 2‘ days, that’s pretty much how you’re going to see him again.”
The Irishman will also star Al Pacino and Joe Pesci from a screenplay by Oscar-winning Steve Zaillian (Schindlers List, Gangs of New York, Money Ball). The film is slated for a 2018 release, from what I can tell, production has not yet begun.