Deadline is exclusively reporting that Stephen Graham is the latest name to join the cast of Martin Scorsese’s crime drama about Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance The Irishman.
The Irishman is set to be based on the Charles Brandt novel ‘I Heard You Paint Houses’, which is the deathbed story from mob hitman Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran about the disappearance and death of Jimmy Hoffa. Frank Sheeran was a member of the Bufalino crime family out of Pennsylvania and became a confidante of Hoffa. According to Sheeran’s story, Hoffa was driven to a house near the Red Fox restaurant (the place where he was last seen) and shot twice in the back of the head in the hallway, then cremated in a mob-connected funeral home. Floor planks where Hoffa would have hit the floor were pulled up and tested for DNA more than 10 years ago. Of the two good samples taken, the FBI could confirm nothing sold as one was inconclusive and the other could only reveal that it was a male….the rest is lore. The name of the book comes from the first thing Hoffa reportedly said to Sheeran (‘I heard you paint houses’), which means when blood is splattered all over the floor and walls after a hit. Steve Zaillian is adapting the screenplay.
Stephen Graham (whose recent credits include Taboo and Little Boy Blue) will be playing the key role of Genovese mob cappo Tony “Pro” Provenzano. Provenzano was a teamster who rose into the top ranks of organised crime and was considered a top of associate of Jimmy Hoffa in the 1970’s. It was believed that he played a part in Hoffa’s disappearance, as Hoffa was at the Red Fox where he was supposed to meet with Provenzano for a ‘peace conference’ when he was picked up from his restaurant, after phoning his wife, and was never heard from again.
Longtime collborators of Scorsese’s, Ellen Lewis and Thelma Schoonmaker, who work as a casting director and editor respectfully, are working on the project, with Fabrica’s Gaston Pavlovich, Jane Rosenthal and Emma Tillinger Koskoff are expected to serve as producers alongside Scorsese. The film is expected to get a small theatrical release to qualify for an Oscar.