The Irishman: Martin Scorsese's 'risky' Netflix film to be released in cinemas

It marks the director's ninth collaboration with Robert De Niro

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 03 December 2018 10:53 GMT

Martin Scorsese's new film The Irishman has been scheduled for release in cinemas which, according to Robert De Niro, is "the way it should be".

De Niro confirmed the news at the Marrakech Film Festival where he appeared alongside Scorsese, whose gangster movie is his biggest budget film to date.

“We’ve talked about it with Netflix,“ De Niro said. ”They are going to do a presentation of our film the way it should be, in a theatre, in certain venues, the best theatrical venues there can be. How they resolve it is, in the beginning, they will show it on the big screen, we’re talking about big venues where it would play, where it should play, and what happens after that I’m not sure.”

Speaking about his collaboration with the streaming service, Scorsese said: “People such as Netflix are taking risks. The Irishman is a risky film. No one else wanted to fund the pic for five to seven years. And of course we’re all getting older. Netflix took the risk.”

Production began on the filmmaker’s long-gestating mob drama in 2016 with lucrative rights picked up at Cannes Film Festival. Netflix later acquired worldwide rights to the film for a reported $105m setting a budget of $125m.

According to reports, costs ended up soaring because of the CGI required to make the 74-year-old De Niro look like a 30-year-old for the scenes set in 1959.

Based on Charles Brandt’s book I Heard You Paint Houses, The Irishman marks the ninth collaboration between De Niro and Scorsese.

The film also stars Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Boardwalk Empire alumni Bobby Cannavale, Jack Huston and Stephen Graham who will play Genovese mob boss Tony “Pro” Provenzano – a top associate of Jimmy Hoffa, the character whose mysterious disappearance provides the film with its plot. Harvey Keitel and Ray Romano also star.

The Irishman’s release date has been pushed back to the second half of 2019.

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