In a huge turn of events, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman – his ninth collaboration with actor Robert De Niro – has been scooped up by home entertainment juggernaut Netflix. The streaming service will take the $100 million film and release it to its 93 million subscribers across 190 countries.
The Irishman was initially slated for distribution by Paramount Pictures, but Scorsese’s team put together another package after news that 12-year chairman Brad Grey is on his way out the door. As someone close to the deal put it, “Scorsese’s movie is a risky deal, and Paramount is not in the position to take risks. This way, he can make the project he wants.”
The film, adapted by screenwriter Steve Zaillian (Moneyball) from Charles Brandt‘s book, “I Heard You Paint Houses,” details the life of Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a mob hitman whose illustrious career is today best known for a supposed involvement in the death of Jimmy Hoffa. The movie was first announced in 2008, and co-starring alongside De Niro are old pals Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel, in addition to Vinyl‘s Bobby Cannavale.
At current, there is no confirmed starting date for production, but sources say it is aiming for 2019 release day-and-date with a limited Oscar-qualifying release. Scorsese still has an overall feature deal with Paramount that also runs through 2019. The studio released his last film, Silence.