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Cannes: Martin Scorsese-Robert De Niro Mob Drama ‘The Irishman’ Goes to STX for $50 Million

Film is based on the deathbed confessions of a mob hitman who claimed to have killed Jimmy Hoffa

STX has paid $50 million for the international rights to “The Irishman,” the planned Martin Scorsese mob drama that will reunite the director with Robert De Niro for the first time in more than 20 years.

The hotly-contested acquisition cost STX around $50 million, making it by far the biggest deal of the festival and the biggest Cannes deal in recent history. Paramount has North American distribution rights to the film, which had been languishing in turnaround at the studio before Cannes.

Fabrica de Cine is financing the film’s expected $100 million budget.

“The Irishman” is based on the book “I Heard You Paint Houses,” a Charles Brandt book drawn from the deathbed confessions of Bufalino crime family hitman Frank Sheeran, who claimed to have killed Jimmy Hoffa. He also claimed to have been part of the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961, to have inside information about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and to have killed crime boss Joseph Gallo in 1972.

Steve Zaillian wrote the screenplay adaptation of Brandt’s book. Scorsese has also lined up Al Pacino for the film.

STX has now made two of the biggest deals of the festival, the other being the acquisition of Aaron Sorkin‘s directorial debut, “Molly’s Game,” which will star Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba.