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Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro Back in the Mob

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Oct 02, 2008 | 1:47pm EDT

Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro are returning to organized crime. Paramount Pictures has hired Steve Zaillian to adapt I Heard You Paint Houses, a book about the mob assassin who is believed to have been involved in the death of Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa. Variety reports that Scorsese is attached to direct De Niro as Frank "the Irishman" Sheeran, who is reputed to have carried out more than 25 mob murders.

The title, explains Variety, refers to mob slang for contract killings, and the resulting blood splatter on walls and floors.

The book was written by Charles Brandt, who befriended Sheeran shortly before the latter’s death in 2003. According to the 2004 book, Sheeran confessed certain murders to Brandt including the killing and dismemberment of Hoffa.

Zaillian most recently wrote American Gangster and was a co-writer of the Scorsese-directed Gangs of New York. The duo had also teamed on Schindler’s List before Scorsese turned the project over to Steven Spielberg. Zaillian won an Oscar for his Schindler’s List  script.

Scorsese just completed a screen adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel Shutter Island with Leonardo DiCaprio.

De Niro recently wrapped "Everybody’s Fine" with Sam Rockwell, Kate Beckinsale and Drew Barrymore. 

De Niro and Scorsese’s past collaborations include everything from Mean Streets to Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas. They last hooked up in 1995 for Casino.

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