Netflix Scoops Up Scorsese’s “The Irishman”

Martin Scorsese’s long in the works $100 million gangster film “The Irishman” has been snatched up by Netflix.

Scorsese is coming off “Silence” which scored rave reviews, but distributor Paramount fumbled the release – leading to disappointing box-office and a shut out at awards chances.

With that studio undergoing a major shake-up due to the internal regime change with chairman Brad Grey’s departure, Scorsese’s team re-packaged “The Irishman” in a way that will be better for the project.

A source for Indiewire says: “Scorsese’s movie is a risky deal, and Paramount is not in the position to take risks. This way, he can make the project he wants.”

Netflix swooped in and now is backing the project which will allow him to make the film he wants without compromise. The project has been in the works for almost ten years, meaning Scorsese has had plenty of time to develop it.

What makes this extra interesting is that overseas rights to the film were already sold to STX Entertainment for $50 million while Media Asia had picked up the Chinese distribution rights. As per usual with Netflix, it is acquiring all world rights so both those previous deals will be rendered void.

Robert DeNiro plays Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran, a mob hitman whose illustrious career is today best known for a supposed involvement in the death of Jimmy Hoffa. Steve Zaillian adapted the screenplay from Charles Brandt’s book” I Heard You Paint Houses” and Al Pacino is in negotiations to join the project.

The movie has no official start date, but sources say it is aiming for 2019 release day-and-date with a limited Oscar-qualifying release.