Watch Robert De Niro recreate a scene from Goodfellas with GGI de-aging. It’s been just over a month since Netflix released iconic director Martin Scorsese’s latest effort, The Irishman. The film has had rave reviews and remains a strong Oscar contender.

But aside from the list of heavyweight actors in The Irishman such as Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel, the film has also made headlines for its use of CGI de-aging technologies. There has been a reasonable amount of skepticism surrounding the use of the technology in the lead up to The Irishman’s release, as it was previously used in the Ang Lee, Will Smith box-office bomb, Gemini Man. While Gemini Man’s de-aging effects were far from terrible, for some it was simply a case of too much of a good thing, and the film’s general ability to draw in audiences likely was the result of far deeper issues than its use of de-aging CGI. Still, early looks at de-aging in The Irishman garnered its fair share of detractors, though for the most part, when the film was finally released, it was clear that Scorsese had truly done some groundbreaking work with the relatively new technology.

The exact process of working out the kinks in the de-aging process is now the subject of a new video short from Netflix. The video, entitled The Evolution of Digital De-Aging as seen in The Irishman, can be seen in full below, courtesy of YouTube user Trending. One bit in particular will certainly stick out for fans of Scorsese’s work. At the 3:09 mark, test footage that was shot in order to ground the ILM engineers into the ages that Scorsese wanted for The Irishman can be seen. Fans will instantly recognize it from 1990’s Goodfellas, in which Robert De Niro berates fellow gangster Johnny Dio for buying his wife a mink coat after a recent robbery. The footage in the Netflix video is split into the actual clip from Goodfellas and De Niro’s 2019 re-enactment. As you can see in the video, the similarities are astounding.

According to ILM layout supervisor John Levin, after watching the clip with the digital de-aging, Scorsese punctuated the awed silence by laughing and exclaiming, “It’s just like it was 25 years ago!” The tests encouraged Scorsese and the ILM effects team that it was indeed possible to use de-aging CGI to their advantage in The Irishman. And although de-aging has been used over the years with other films, The Irishman marked a definite turning point, with Scorsese going to great lengths to ensure that his filmmaking process remained unaffected by the new technology. This was not always easy, as a great number of solutions had to be found – particularly for creating a film rig that was capable of holding the three different cameras required for the production. The set up that The Irishman team eventually settled on was lovingly dubbed “the three headed monster” by Scorsese and the rest of the crew.

Though The Irishman wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, the general opinion of the film is positive and the buzz surrounding it heading into awards season is substantial. With its monstrous three and a half hour running time, the film has an extensive story to tell and, as evidenced by this short video, the manner in which it’s told required a tremendous amount of work. For fans of De Niro, seeing the famed star de-aged is a truly magical experience and whether or not The Irishman picks up any Oscars at this year’s Academy Awards, the epic film will likely forever remain one of Scorsese’s greatest cinematic achievements.

Next: The Irishman Ending Explained (In Detail)

Source: Trending (via YouTube)