Netflix buys Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro’s The Irishman


In a totally unexpected move, Martin Scorsese’s forthcoming gangster epic The Irishman has moved from Paramount to Netflix. The $100 million film will star Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, and Bobby Cannavale, and could possibly bring Joe Pesci out of retirement. The film will center around Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a union boss with mob ties who might have helped kill Jimmy Hoffa. The film is an adaptation of Charles Brandt’s 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses.

Paramount seems to be going through a major shift lately. They’ve canceled a Friday the 13th prequel/origin story, delayed a World War Z sequel directed by David Fincher, and are only looking for solid money-makers. This may be due in part to the massive loss the company took when they made Monster Trucks, a movie that was literally developed by the 4-year-old son of a former studio president

For Netflix, this is a huge move. While Netflix has excelled at series, their original movies have not garnered as many accolades. Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation was supposed to be their ticket to film bona fides, but it faded into the background of the awards season. With a forthcoming Scorsese movie, Netflix might be trying to compete with the quality work of Amazon Studios, who co-distributed Manchester by the Sea, Paterson, The Handmaiden, Gimme Danger, Wiener-Dog, and other titles last year. This year, Amazon Studios has already co-distributed two more Oscar nominees: the acclained James Baldwin documentary I Am Not Your Negro and Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman.

What do you think about all this? Also, will Joe Pesci come out of retirement? Speak up in the comments, buddy.

[via IndieWire]

Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.