Now this is more like it. With all due respect to animated movies, I’ve been writing about talking bears and pandas all evening and was crying out for something with a bit of substance. And movie news doesn’t come much more substantial than the reteaming of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, does it?

The dream team – the guys who made (deep breath) Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The King Of Comedy, New York, New York, Cape Fear, Goodfellas and Casino together – haven’t worked together since 1995. Since then, there have been flirtations – most notably on The Winter Of Frankie Machine (which De Niro is now set to make with Michael Mann) – but nothing concrete.

But now, the duo look set to work together again on the Paramount crime flick, I Heard You Paint Houses. Huzzah, hurrah, hurray!

The movie will be based on a book by Charles Brandt, a writer who befriended an Irish hitman called Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (told you he was Irish) before he died in 2004. Sheeran confessed a number of killings to Brandt including, so it’s claimed, the dismemberment of the famous missing Teamster boss, Jimmy Hoffa. But Sheeran was also reported to have killed around 25 people while working for the Mob (the book’s title is taken from hitman slang for blood splatter on walls).

Sounds like typical Scorsese/De Niro territory to me, but i’m sure that the duo can find something new to mine here.

It’s early days yet – De Niro has signed on as Sheeran, but Scorsese has just brought on Steven Zaillian to adapt the book into a screenplay. So it could be a couple of years before anything happens with this – but i’m hopeful. Scorsese has, of course, forged a fruitful working relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio over the last few years (four movies and counting!), but the sparks he creates in tandem with De Niro are special. They’re more than special – they’re cinema history, and I can’t wait to see those sparks fly again.

Scorsese will produce the movie, along with De Niro and his producing partner, Jane Rosenthal.

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