Some things are worth waiting for, and the next film from Martin Scorsese, The Irishman, would appear to be just that.

The long-discussed film, which will co-star icons Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, won’t start production until next year, with an eye towards a late 2018 release. Producers, though, have already scored a huge coup, securing a distribution deal for the lucrative China market, according to Deadline. It wasn’t that long ago – 1997 – that Scorsese was banned from entering China because the government was opposed to his film about the Dalai Lama, Kundun.

The Irishman will tell the story of a hitman, Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, and the disappearance of the Teamsters union boss Jimmy Hoffa.

Paramount will distribute the film in the U.S., and the production pricetag is a healthy $100 million which should ensure more superstars are added to the cast.

“I’m working on The Irishman with Marty Scorsese, and there are sections, earlier periods in the film, where we’re experimenting with how I can [look younger], like Benjamin Button. Not only me, but the other actors too,” De Niro told Empire Magazine last year.

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