Waiting for The Irishman
Source: Project Casting Word recently broke that the latest highly anticipated film from Martin Scorsese, titled ‘The Irishman’, will be released straight to Netflix. The development has widely been seen as yet another instance of Netflix flexing its muscle, and thumbing its nose at Hollywood. After all, one would think that Hollywood studios would be all but falling over one another to get their hands on a movie starring Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, and Harvey Keitel. Plus, with the man who created masterpieces like Taxi Driver and Godfellas in the director’s chair, the film seems to be destined for blockbuster success, well before cut has even been yelled. But, is there more to this occurrence than meets the eye? Or is this really solid confirmation that Netflix is the certified future of entertainment?
The Irishman will be a big budget biographical film that tells the story of Frank Sheeran, a man that was rumoured to be an assassin for the Bufalino crime family. And, more importantly, the man who is rumoured to have assassinated Jimmy Hoffa. Robert De Niro will play the part of Frank Sheeran, while Al Pacino will play Jimmy Hoffa. For all intents and purposes, the film sounds like it has everything needed to be a classic; the right cast, the right director, and certainly an intriguing real life story to tell. And, originally the film was going to be financed by Hollywood powerhouse Paramount Pictures. So what happened that the film is now, definitely, going to be released on Netflix, with Paramount left with nothing but a frown on its face?
Paramount Gets Cold Feet
Mutterings are circulating about Netflix swooping in and stealing the film from Paramount, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. In fact, it seems that Paramount decided to pass on the project, after learning that the estimated budget was a whopping $100 million. This is no small change, especially for a film that is not making extensive use of special effects. Instead, the budget will be largely assigned to, as demanded by Scorsese, shooting taking place at real locations around the world, with extensive focus on creating period-accurate sets. And, interestingly enough, with computer generated effects used only to transform De Niro and Pacino into younger versions of themselves, as required by the story. So, very simply Paramount passed on the project due to the enormous cost, and fears that the film would not make its money back.
Netflix Saves the Day
Netflix swooped in and snapped up the project after the big Hollywood studios abandoned it. Netflix is, of course, eager to make it known that they are the place where stars like De Niro and Pacino can be found, with globally acclaimed directors like Scorsese at the helm. It’s unquestionably a big move for Netflix, especially considering the enormous amount of money being invested. And, be the film a classic or not, Netflix has now solidified its reputation as a big player in the entertainment industry, much like many top online casinos have done in recent years. As it stands Netflix is already enormously successful, and has a strong reputation for delivering quality, homemade entertainment. But this has mostly been in the form of series, such as the highly acclaimed Stranger Things. Big budget movies have so far been beyond the reach of Netflix, with Bright being the only real attempt. But now, with The Irishman set to release in 2019, Netflix will have taken the step up to being a real big hitter. As to how well The Irishman turns out, in terms of being good entertainment, remains to be seen. Either way, Netflix will have earned themselves a reputation for bringing to life a film that features some of the biggest stars to have graced the silver screen.