Watch How 'The Irishman' Used 'Goodfellas' to Make ILM's De-Aging Tech

Credit: Netflix
Netflix reveals more behind-the-scenes secrets about the making of Martin Scorsese's latest Oscar-contender, The Irishman.

The Irishman was one of the most talked about and anticipated movies of 2019. For good reason.

Director Martin Scorsese reunited with Robert De Niro -- while the director worked with Al Pacino for the first time -- to deliver an unprecedented crime drama that spanned decades and chronicled a real-life mob hitman's rise and tragic plateau.

Fans and critics could not get enough of the Netflix release, with particular attention paid to Industrial Light & Magic's technological advancements employed to de-age its main cast. Recently, Cinephilia & Beyond posted on Twitter a short (but very insightful) look behind the scenes about how a key scene in Goodfellas helped bring Scorsese's new movie to life. Watch below:

Video is no longer available:

What You Can Learn

While the final 2019 render, when compared next to the original 1990 movie, isn't exactly photo-real or a perfect comp, the end results are very close. The tech ILM developed to avoid the actors having to wear cumbersome mo-cap rigs or dots all over their faces and costumes marks a significant breakthrough in visual effects -- one that will obviously benefit future productions. 

Moreover, it's further proof that filmmakers and actors are never really done or free from their work -- in a good way. Of all the scenes to revisit from Goodfellas for a test render, this one wouldn't top our lists but we see why ILM used it; it's clean and no frills and makes for a good comp.

And you can't ask for a better collaborator in this instance than De Niro, whose commitment to The Irishman compelled him to re-enact a scene he filmed 30 years ago to help shape the scenes he would film three decades later. 

What did you think of The Irishman? Give us your review in the comments below.

You Might Also Like

Your Comment


They did really good with Pacino and Pesci. De Niro, though... His character's supposed to be 28 in the beginning of the movie, when he's a driver. Didn't believe that for a second, came off as a man in his mid-40s.

January 5, 2020 at 6:43PM


The de-aging technique worked in the sense that it was so well made that you didn't notice, (though the blue lens contacts on de niro helped by being so distracting), but yeah, it worked really well to de-age him into his 50's, but come on, he never look in his 20's or 30's, 40 yes, but that scene where he beats up a guy in the street... Not the moves of someone under 50.

January 6, 2020 at 3:13AM


Great movie...but as far as I'm concerned, the de-aging process still has a long way to go. I certainly didn't buy DeNiro's de-aging especially as a younger man.
Also, I didn't buy Pacino's performance as Jimmy Hoffa for one second. Jack Nicholson's Hoffa, on the other hand, was spot on.

January 8, 2020 at 10:00AM

Lee Albright
Owner-Albright Films