Already delayed by months because of problems with the de-ageing technology that’s contributed to the hefty $160-$200 million stumped up by Netflix, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman is facing further obstacles in its battle to obtain the big-screen release that the legendary director desires. According to The New York Times the streaming giants are in a stand-off with some US cinema chains regarding how long the mob-drama will play in theatres before it’s available in your homes. This is why, aside from its debut at the New York Film Festival on September 27th and closing night duties at the BFI London Film Festival on Sunday 13th October, there are no release details for the much-anticipated crime-opus.
Whereas Netflix were able to negotiate small release windows for Alfonso Cuarón’s ROMA and The Coen’s The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, it appears that talks with AMC Theatres and Cineplex for the potential distribution in America and Canada are at something of an impasse.
The reports suggest that the hold-up is down to the fact that the theatre chains want a three-month release window before the film hits Netflix, something that Scorsese is also rumoured to favour, but which ‘does not sit well’ with the streaming giants. The conversations have been going on for months, with the NYT revealing that talks fell apart in July, and heads of the respective cinema chains have no clue as to the outcome of the discussions.
The film will only need to play in Los Angeles for one-week in order to be eligible for the Academy Awards, something that Netflix and Scorsese will be keen to pursue, so whether or not the negotiations are successful or not really just depends on how much of the whopping budget Netflix want to recoup. Surely their priority is to provide something exclusive for their subscribers, although The Irishman does feel like the most likely of the Netflix produced films to strike big at the box-office. This one could rumble on for a while.
Let us know what you think about the whole streaming vs cinema debate, particularly where The Irishman is concerned. If this was showing at your local cinema, would you wait three months for it to hit Netflix, or spend a few dollars to for the big-screen experience? Let us know using the comments below, or head over to our Twitter feed to continue the discussion.
Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci star in Martin Scorsese’s THE IRISHMAN, an epic saga of organized crime in post-war America told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th Century. Spanning decades, the film chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history, the disappearance of legendary Union President Jimmy Hoffa, and offers a monumental journey through the hidden corridors of organized crime: its inner workings, rivalries and connections to mainstream politics.
The Irishman stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale, Anna Paquin, Stephen Graham, Stephanie Kurtzuba, Jack Huston, Kathrine Narducci, Jesse Plemons, Domenick Lombardozzi, Paul Herman, Gary Basaraba, and Marin Ireland. It is set to premiere on Netflix later this year.