Robert De Niro appeared at the Marrakech Film Festival this week and confirmed that streaming giant Netflix would handle Martin Scorsese’s new film “The Irishman” the “way it should be”.
Based on Charles Brandt’s book “I Heard You Paint Houses,” this will mark the ninth collaboration between De Niro and Scorsese and stars De Niro as Frank Sheehan, a labor union official and mob hitman with ties to the death of Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). Anna Paquin, Bobby Cannavale, and Joe Pesci co-star.
Part of the production process includes ageing some of the characters down digitally by up to five decades, which takes up a big part of the film’s $140 million budget. It’s a costly film and there’s a demand to see it on the big screen. De Niro says:
“We’ve talked about it with Netflix. They are going to do a presentation of our film the way it should be, in a theater, 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.”
The comments come as Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” is in the midst of an exclusive theatrical run. Because it’s still very limited in the number of cinemas it is showing at, the push by critics and fans who say “it can only be seen on a big screen” has been met with a backlash on social media as an example of pure film snobbery.
“The Irishman” wrapped filming in March and is slated to premiere in the second half of 2019.