Robert De Niro reveals the movie he and Al Pacino regret making

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino (Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

Screen icons Robert De Niro and Al Pacino have only appeared on screen together a handful of times.

First was the legendary The Godfather: Part II in 1974 (though you only see them together briefly as one scene dissolves into another).

It then took decades for them to star in a second movie together, Michael Mann's breathless 1995 crime thriller Heat, in which they played a game of cat and mouse as a detective and a seasoned criminal.

Read more: Solid reviews for The Irishman

It seemed like a coup for the pair to finally be seen onscreen together after leading parallel careers for so long.

But then it happened again in 2008, in the far-from-worthy Righteous Kill in 2008, and De Niro has revealed how both stars regretted it.

De Niro and Pacino in Righteous Kill (Credit: Universal)

Speaking to Variety, De Niro described the film’s Italian premiere in Rome.

While the actors were rapturously received in the Italian capital, De Niro said he turned to Pacino and said: “This is a great reaction, but it would be nice if they were here for a movie that we really feel proud about. Next time we’ll do one we like.”

Ouch.

Read More: Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman' will be his longest movie ever

Righteous Kill was a laboured buddy cop movie helmed by Jon Avnet, who also made movies like the Oscar-nominated Fried Green Tomatoes and the rom-com Up Close & Personal.

Also starring John Leguizamo, Donnie Wahlberg, Brian Dennehy, Melissa Leo and 50 Cent, it was battered by critics, earning Pacino a Razzie nomination and ending up on The Times' worst movies of the year list.

Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and director Jon Avnet arrive for the British premier of the film Righteous Kill (Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

Rolling Stone's veteran critic Peter Travers wrote: “Some people think Robert De Niro and Al Pacino would be a kick to watch just reading a phone book. Well, bring on that phone book.”

It cost $60 million to make but only made $78 million back – likely a sturdy loss once expenses were taken into account.

Read More: Robert De Niro's de-ageing in 'The Irishman' revealed in new Netflix trailer

Luckily, their latest outing together, Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, is being hailed as a smash, with a 100% “fresh” rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

It lands in the UK on 1 November for a limited release, and then will stream on Netflix from 27 November.