The man probably responsible for arranging the details of labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa’s kidnapping and murder, snarling, steely-eyed Detroit mafia captain Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone, will be played by little-known actor Patrick Gallo in The Irishman, Martin Scorsese’s much-anticipated gangster “supergroup” film currently in production on the east coast about the relationship between Hoffa and union enforcer and hit man Frank (The Irishman) Sheeran. Right before he died in 2003, Sheeran claimed to have been the triggerman in Hoffa’s iconic, still-unsolved slaying, an assertion the FBI rejected after a DNA scrub of the house in Northwest Detroit that Sheeran said he clipped Hoffa in came up empty.

Robert De Niro is playing Sheeran, while Al Pacino is cast as Hoffa. Like many of those already involved in supporting roles in the film, Patrick Gallo has done recent on-screen work at HBO. He’s appeared in an episode of The Deuce, the cable television network’s dive into the 1970s Times Square sex trade in New York and the Emmy Award-winning Boardwalk Empire about the Prohibition Era underworld in Atlantic City.

Hoffa, the fiery, notoriously stubborn and hard-nosed former president of the Teamsters, vanished from a suburban Detroit restaurant parking lot on the afternoon of July 30, 1975 on his way to a lunch meeting with Tony Giacalone, his longtime contact in mob circles dating back to his early days in union politics. Giacalone was one of the mobsters Hoffa used his close relationship with to maneuver up the ranks of the union, eventually grabbing the Teamsters presidency in 1958. Hoffa became a fixture in the press for his bombastic and strong-willed ways and was viewed by many as the voice of the American working man.

In the years preceding his murder, Hoffa butted heads with those very same mob figures he was once allied with over his desire to return to the union’s top spot after a prison stint for bribery and fraud that saw him relinquish his post. Observed visiting Hoffa at his lakeside home in the days before he was killed, Hoffa had hoped Giacalone could play peacemaker with his bosses in organized crime who opposed his re-election bid. In reality, authorities theorize he was tasked to coordinate the specifics for Hoffa’s murder, selling him on the setup and assigning a team of assassins to handle the wet work.

Nobody has ever been arrested or charged in the Hoffa homicide probe. Always considered the No. 1 suspect in the murder investigation, Giacalone, the face of the Detroit mob on the street for the second half of the 20th Century and believed to have ordered or personally carried out dozens of gangland slayings, died in 2001 at 82 of kidney failure under federal indictment for racketeering. He did seven years behind bars (1979-1986) for tax evasion and extortion in the wake of the Hoffa hit.

On the day Hoffa disappeared in the summer of 1975, Giacalone was down the road from where Hoffa was last seen at his headquarters, the Southfield Athletic Club. His brother and fellow powerful Motown Mafioso Vito (Billy Jack) Giacalone is thought by investigators to have represented him on the actual job itself — he went unaccounted for by his FBI surveillance unit that particular afternoon. Tony Jack’s son had his car (a 1975 maroon-colored Mercury Marquis) confiscated in the days following Hoffa turning up missing under the belief that it was used in the kidnapping, murder and body disposal. DNA from Hoffa has been linked to the backseat and trunk of the younger Giacalone’s vehicle.

Scorsese has collected a star-studded ensemble for his adaption of Charles Brandt’s 2004 best-selling book, I Heard You Paint Houses. Besides De Niro and Pacino, he recruited Joe Pesci out of retirement to play Northeast Pennsylvania mob boss Russell Bufalino and cast Harvey Keitel as Philadelphia mafia don Angelo Bruno. Bufalino and Bruno were a pair of one-time Hoffa mob confidants that sanctioned his assassination.

Sheeran was Bufalino’s right hand man and main strong arm for his affairs in the Teamsters, often doing muscle work directly for Hoffa, too . Cameras began rolling on the 100-million dollar Netflix production in New York City earlier this month and the movie is expected to have a limited theatre run in late 2018 or early 2019.

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