'The Irishman' is based on a true story

Martin Scorsese is set to digitally de-age Robert De Niro in his forthcoming movie The Irishman.

The gangster film sees De Niro star as real-life mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran.

Sheeran murdered 25 people and claimed to have had a hand in the famous disappearance of the union leader, Jimmy Hoffa, who went mysteriously missing in 1975.

To portray the many years of Sheeran’s life in crime, Scorsese plans on digitally de-aging De Niro.

The Irishman producer Gaston Pavlovich told CinemaBlend: “You don’t use prosthetics, make-up; they have acting and the technology is able to have them go through different time ages without the prosthetics.

“So we’ve seen some tests and it looks extraordinary. We were able to film Bob and just do a scene. We saw it come down to when he was like 20, 40, 60, so we’re looking forward to that, from that point of view, for The Irishman … Imagine seeing what De Niro looked like in The Godfather: Part II days, that’s pretty much how you’re going to see him again.”

Scorsese and De Niro last worked together on the 1995 gangster movie Casino.

The director admitted that De Niro is the only person that really understands him.

He told Time Out: “He is the only one left alive who knows who I am. It [this film] will be emotional. I’m not saying it will be a recreation of the kind of films we made up until Casino.

“It’s going to be something else. But we wanted to be together again.”

Meanwhile, Scorsese’s next film Silence, starring Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver, is due out in the US on December 23, (a UK date has yet to be confirmed, but is not expected to be released until 2017).

Based upon a 1966 novel of the same name by Japanese author Shūsaku Endō, Silence follows two Portuguese Jesuit priests (played by Garfield and Driver) in the 17th century who suffer a crisis of faith when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor (Liam Neeson).