Martin ScorseseIt could be a dream come true. Robert De Niro confirmed to MTV that Al Pacino and Joe Pesci will indeed be joining the cast of 'The Irishman,' a drama based on the real-life story of a Mafia hit man, to be directed by Martin Scorsese. And Harvey Keitel may be along for the ride as well, according to Showbiz 411.

As we reported when the Pacino / Pesci rumors surfaced in September, De Niro and Scorsese have been developing the project for a couple of years. 'The Irishman' is based on 'I Heard You Paint Houses,' a best-selling book by Charles Brandt about the life of Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran, who claimed that he killed legendary teamster Jimmy Hoffa in 1975. The film will mark the reunion of De Niro, Pesci and Scorsese for the first time since 1995's 'Casino.' But it will also mark the first time that Pacino and Scorsese will work together, which is kind of amazing.


In the same way that teaming Pacino and De Niro makes sense, Pacino and Scorsese have always seemed like a natural fit. They appear to have a similar passion about making vitally energetic movies. Both were raised in New York City, though in different boroughs, both came to prominence with a series of great films in the 70s, and both have successfully navigated the ups and downs of careers in Hollywood while putting their personal stamps on (most of) their projects.

Pesci has only acted in two films in the past decade, 'The Good Shepherd,' directed by De Niro, and this year's 'Love Ranch,' directed by Taylor Hackford, so it will be good to see him on screen again.

Keitel has kept busy without making anything truly exceptional for years. He appears briefly with De Niro in 'Little Fockers,' due out next week, and that may have been what spurred the casting idea for 'The Irishman.' That deal has not been confirmed; The Playlist comments that "it seems a little odd" that De Niro would forget to mention Keitel when talking to MTV but then tell Roger Friedman of Showbiz 411 about it at a party.

If financing is secured, production could begin early in 2011. 'The Irishman' is shaping up to be one of our more anticipated films.