Between the Coen brothers‘ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and Alfonso Cuarón‘s Roma, Netflix has become a bit of a director’s playground these days. But that doesn’t mean you’re always stuck watching these films on a laptop screen. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) With Roma already in the middle of a theatrical run, THR reports that the streaming service’s next high-profile original film, Martin Scorsese‘s The Irishman, is also due for a big-screen run before it hits Netflix.
That is, according to star Robert De Niro, who noted at the Marrakech Film Festival that Netflix would handle The Irishman “the way it should be”, which doesn’t sound at all like a threat.
“We’ve talked about it with Netflix,” De Niro said. “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.”
The Irishman, based on Charles Brandt’s book I Heard You Paint Houses, is the ninth collaboration between De Niro and Scorsese, who first joined forces on 1973’s Mean Streets. For their latest, De Niro stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheehan, a labor union official and mob hitman with ties to the death of Jimmy Hoffa. In his first film directed by Scorsese, Oscar-winner Al Pacino is set to play Hoffa, alongside Anna Paquin, Bobby Cannavale, and Joe Pesci in his first on-screen role since 2010.
Part of the production process includes aging some of the characters down digitally up to five decades, a large chunk of the hard-to-find $140 million budget that Netflix is paying the tab for. “Marty wanted to do this as best as it has been done to this point to make us look younger,” De Niro said.
The Irishman wrapped filming in March and is on track to premiere in the back half of 2019.