The Irishman trailer: Martin Scorsese returns to his gangster movie roots in epic first look
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The Irishman trailer: Martin Scorsese returns to his gangster movie roots in epic first look

THE FIRST trailer for Martin Scorsese's The Irishman has landed with the Italian-American filmmaker returning to his gangster movie roots with a sprawling tale of intrigue and violence that takes in the life and times of arguably the most infamous hitman in American history.

Much of Frank Sheeran's life and career as a mob hitman for the Bufalino crime family remains shrouded in mystery.

A World War 2 veteran, Sheeran emerged from humble Irish-American beginnings to become a high-ranking official in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and one of the most feared enforcers in all of America, playing a key role in the corruption of the unions by organised crime.

Allegedly involved in a string of major battles and massacres throughout WWII, shortly before his death from cancer aged 83 in 2003 Sheeran penned a book with author Charles Brandt detailing his involvement in the killing of Jimmy Hoffa - but that was only the half of it.

While Sheeran was able to explain, in painstaking detail, what happened to Hoffa when he disappeared back in 1975, the resulting non-fiction book, titled I Heard You Paint Houses, also revealed Sheeran's  role in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and how Hoffa's threats to reveal the Mafia's role in JFK ultimately led to his demise.

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Scorsese first confirmed plans to turn the book into a film back in September 2014, with an all-star cast joining The Irishman in the months and years since.

Robert De Niro signed on to play Sheeran with Al Pacino taking the role of Hoffa and long-time Scorsese collaborator Joe Pesci coming out of retirement to play mob boss and close Sheeran associate Russell Bufalino.

Other notable names including Stephen Graham, Harvey Keitel and Anna Paquin have also joined the cast, playing some of the other notable real-life characters involved in the sprawling real-life gangster epic.

Now, after months of delays - some of which came as a result of the need to utilise advanced computer effects to make De Niro, Pacino and Pesci appear younger - the first trailer for the film has landed online ahead of its debut on Netflix later this year.

And the good news is that it does not disappoint.

A perfectly-realised depiction of life in American during the post Second World War period when the Unions first struck a blow for workers' rights before succumbing to the dark temptations of the mob, every bit of the film's reported $200 million budget can be seen on the screen - including those effects.

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Boasting an all-star cast, the film is set to chronicle a pivotal period in American history and looks a must-see for anyone with an interest in the mob, JFK and the post-war boom that promised so much yet delivered little.

Directed by Scorsese from a script by Steve Zaillian, The Irishman has yet to receive an official release date but, if this trailer is anything to go by, it can't some soon enough.