A gangster drama from Martin Scorsese that reunites him with Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro for the first time in decades, with the added bonus of throwing in Al Pacino, who is working with the beloved filmmaker for the first time ever, is something that deserves a theatrical release. And luckily, Netflix is doing just that with The Irishman, the much-anticipated gangster flick that brings this incredible group together. Unfortunately, it’s not going to break the mold for the streaming service, as it’s going to be a limited release.
According to a new report, Netflix will release The Irishman in theaters this November. The plan is to debut the movie on November 1 in Los Angeles and New York. It will then expand from there in theaters across the country ahead of its streaming launch on November 27. It’s expected this will be a launch akin to what was given to Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma last year. The movie will also get a release overseas as well, starting in the U.K. on November 8. Though, those hoping to stroll on down to a local AMC may need to alter plans.
Netflix had been negotiating with the nation’s largest theater chains, AMC and Regal, for a wider theatrical release. Something that director Martin Scorsese had reportedly been hoping for. Yet, the theater chains didn’t want to budge too much on the usual 90-day theatrical window that is typically allowed for a release. Studios and exhibitors have an agreement that theatrically released movies won’t debut on home video for at least 90 days after they’re released in theaters. This has been a point of contention in recent years, but the 26-day theatrical window was simply too small for AMC and Regal to agree to. With that, the movie will appear in theater chains such as the Alamo Drafthouse and iPic, who have screened Netflix movies in the past.
The Irishman is described as “an epic saga of organized crime” that is using de-aging technology to make its stars appear much younger, which has been a long, expensive process. The movie takes place in post-war America and centers on a World War II veteran named Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro). This hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century. The movie spans several decades (hence the need for the de-aging tech) and chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history, Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance.
The movie is based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses. Netflix shelled out a reported $175 million production budget for the project, and that high price tag is exactly why it didn’t wind up at a traditional studio. As such, Netflix was surely hoping to recoup some of that money with a larger, flashier theatrical release. Instead, they’re going to have to hope for Oscar glory on this one. This news was previously reported by Variety.