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The Impending Resurgence of Al Pacino

The legendary actor’s upcoming projects will reignite his spark.
Al Pacino (Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock)
By  · Published on January 14th, 2019

Al Pacino is one of the greatest performers ever to grace the screen. That’s an indisputable fact. Sure, opinions are subjective, but Pacino’s legacy speaks for itself. The Godfather. Cruising. Serpico. Dog Day Afternoon. Carlito’s Way. Scarface. Scent of a WomanHeat. Those are just a few of his memorable roles that will forever stand the test of time, and that’s merely scratching the surface of the great work that permeates his oeuvre.

Of course, the actor hasn’t been amiss to starring in stinkers occasionally. When he started making movies like Righteous Kill and Jack & Jill we all assumed that his twilight years would be spent snoozing through subpar efforts and collecting paychecks. After being a major Hollywood player for decades, who could blame him for making some uninspired career choices from time to time? Even if he had only appeared in critically panned movies since then, it wouldn’t change the fact that he’s been integral to some bona fide classics.

Thankfully, though, Pacino still cares about putting out good work. Following that unfortunate rough patch of lesser outings during the 2000s, the actor has spent the past few years pursuing more creatively fulfilling roles that harken back to his best work. Manglehorn and The Humbling may never be ranked among his career-defining turns, but Pacino brought his A-game to both films and reminded everyone that he hadn’t lost his desire to deliver the goods.

Looking ahead to his future projects, though, there’s plenty of reason to believe that Pacino’s legendary career is about to peak all over again. That’s because he’s collaborating with some very talented folks who’ll not only bring out the best in him, but their projects will likely resonate with audiences worldwide and be among the contenders of many future awards. See our 2020 Oscar predictions for the movies we think will be in the running.

Up first is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino’s star-studded opus that will see Pacino star alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Kurt Russell, Luke Perry, and Dakota Fanning. In this one, Pacino will play Marvin Schwarz, agent to DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton character. The thought of Pacino mixing it up with a cast this eclectic is an exciting notion indeed, and Tarantino’s tendency to inspire compelling performances from his casts is one of his biggest strengths. An actor of Pacino’s caliber teaming up with one of Hollywood’s premier and unique filmmakers is bound to produce extraordinary results.

Next up is The Irishman, Martin Scorsese’s crime biopic about former mob hitman Frank Sheeran. This will also mark Pacino’s first collaboration with the acclaimed director, which seems long overdue considering they’ve both been around for decades and neither are strangers to making gangster movies. Here, Pacino will play Jimmy Hoffa, a real-life labor union leader with ties to organized crime who disappeared in 1975. In addition to Pacino, the movie stars Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel, all of whom have made their respective marks in Scorsese crime joints in the past. Movies like this are their bread and butter, and Pacino partnering up with these wiseguys screams “match made in heaven.”

If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, Deadline recently reported that the legendary actor would be killing Nazis in The Hunt, one of Amazon’s many upcoming shows that we can’t wait to see. Jordan Peele is on board as an executive producer, and his involvement in any movie or series is worth the price of a ticket or a subscription. Amazon is all about prestige television these days, and this will mark a rare foray into small screen projects for the grizzled veteran. This makes me think that The Hunt will be special, and the series will undoubtedly give Pacino some meaty material to sink his teeth into, given that the subject matter is bold, biting, and edgy.

The near future is going to be a great time for Pacino fans. He’s picking his projects wisely, and I’d be willing to bet money that he steals the show in every single one of them. Because when Pacino is inspired, he’s practically unstoppable. The resurgence is coming, and when it’s all said and done, we’ll have developed a newfound appreciation for a true Hollywood powerhouse.

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Kieran is a Contributor to the website you're currently reading. He also loves the movie Varsity Blues.