De Niro says Netflix will give The Irishman a theatrical screening

Netflix has bent in a big way by releasing Alfonso Cuaron’s ROMA in theaters several weeks before putting it online, a big step in the service trying to get awards attention for their movie and to recruit more A-list filmmakers. Now it seems they may extend that same strategy to Martin Scorsese’s newest movie, THE IRISHMAN, as star Robert De Niro said that the service plans to release the movie theatrically before it goes online, all so that we can see his expensively, digitally de-aged face up on the big screen.

De Niro, as well as Scorsese, were speaking at the Marrakech Film Festival this weekend when the topic of their new movie came up. The incredibly expensive crime drama – costing a whopping $140 million – was turned down by virtually every studio, but Netflix embraced their long-gestating project. To show off this highly-anticipated film (and to give them some prestige clout, no doubt), De Niro says they plan to show the movie at some major venues before rolling it out online.

 “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.”

We’re some time out from when the release of THE IRISHMAN, and though there’s no official 2019 release there’s a lot of speculation they will save it for the fall season. On that note, it’s impossible to tell how they will roll out the film. If they have a lot of confidence in it they could roll it out like ROMA, in theaters for a few weeks before putting it on Netflix – which in that movie’s case is December 14.

Netflix must have a lot of faith in the movie, as Scorsese said they took a big risk funding such a pricey drama. “No one else wanted to fund the pic for five to seven years," he said at the festival (via Variety). “And of course we’re all getting older. Netflix took the risk.”

Based on the book "I Heard You Paint Houses" by Charles Brandt, THE IRISHMAN tells the story of Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran as he recounts his involvement in the disappearance of union leader Jimmy Hoffa. The movie will jump between time periods, and the inflated budget is mostly going towards digitally de-aging the actors, which De Niro says, "gave us a lot of freedom." The movie also stars Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Bobby Cannavale, Anna Paquin, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano, Jesse Plemons and more. 



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