Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman,’ Starring Robert De Niro Heading To Netflix? by Liz Calvario and Anita Busch February 21, 2017 7:31pm
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Variety/REX/Shutterstock (8137205em) Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese Producers Guild Awards, Inside, Los Angeles, USA - 28 Jan 2017
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Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, starring Robert De Niro, may be heading to Netflix which apparently offered $105M for a full buyout of the film this afternoon after its Mexican financier, Gaston Pavlovich of Fabrica de Cine fell out, one source involved with the project told Deadline. Meanwhile, it is known that STX had already signed agreements with all output partners to the tune of $50M with about $40M more accumulated in tax credits and incentives. The negotiations were continuing late into the day on Tuesday and it was still at Paramount Pictures at 5 PM which had agreed to a deal for $15M for domestic rights.
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It is known that the STX deal was tied to Fabrica de Cine. In order to move the project to Netflix, many deals would have to be unraveled legally which has not yet taken place, but domestic could move over to Netflix much easier. It’s understood that Netflix is interested in worldwide rights so that would essentially push STX out. The film, no matter who ends up with it (as it seems slowly to be moving over to Netflix), is a sure Oscar possibility.
The Irishman, based on the Charles Brandt’s true-crime book I Heard You Paint Houses, tells the deathbed story of mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, who had insider knowledge about the disappearance and death of Jimmy Hoffa.
With the deal, which IndieWire first reported, it was known that Scorsese was looking at a budget of about $150M because of the visual effects to make the actors appear younger. They had been talking to Netflix over the past couple of weeks. Scorsese’s budget was said to be too rich for Mexican financier-producer Gaston Pavlovich of Fábrica de Cine. It was Fábrica de Cine that also financed Scorsese’s Silence to the tune of $50M.
The Mexican financier was in the center of what became a bidding war at Cannes for the rights to the high-profile project with STX winning the foreign rights for a $50M price tag. The domestic distributor was to be Paramount, which has just undergone a management change at the top level with the exit of Brad Grey. It is not known how much Netflix stepped up to the plate for to win the rights of The Irishman but it was known that the budget had ballooned from $100M to $150M. The long-gestating film seems custom made for Oscar as a reunion of all the great old actors from the filmmakers’ mob films, reuniting Scorsese with his Goodfellas stars De Niro and Joe Pesci, as well as mark his first time working with Al Pacino.
It was one of the biggest sales for foreign rights at Cannes as the final bids came down to Universal, Fox and STX going toe-to-toe with Lionsgate along with Stuart Ford’s IM Global and Alex Walton’s Bloom also in the mix.
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