As stated above, director Gareth Edwards used this revolutionary CGI for Rogue One, most notably for the scenes involving Grand Moff Tarkin (played by the late Peter Cushing in A New Hope). Some viewers felt that the recreation of Cushing’s likeness was very well done, while others were a little distracted and thought it raised fascinating ethical questions for the film industry to consider. It will be interesting to see how the technology is used in The Irishman, but right now it’s hard to fault the decision. If the crime drama is to require flashbacks, it’d be better to use De Niro, Pacino, and others and then digitally de-age them. If younger actors are brought in, it would run the risk of being a poor imitation. It’ll be disorientating for some to see 1970s De Niro back on the big screen in 2018, but if the filmmakers have those capabilities, they should use them.
It should also be comforting for cinephiles that Scorsese has never been one to dabble in splashy digital effects just for kicks. He’s most likely thought long and hard about the best way to tackle these scenes, and if he thinks this is the way to go, he has more than earned the benefit of the doubt. Also, any sequences where the young De Niro and Pacino return would probably be a short portion of the running time. As of now, the plan is to only use the technology for flashbacks, not the entire movie, so it’s not as if The Irishman will be leaning too heavily on it. Hopefully the team has a good handle on everything, and The Irishman can be a visual effects showcase as well as a throwback Scorsese picture.
The Irishman does not have an official release date as of this writing.