After a long wait, it looks like we'll finally know when Martin Scorsese's The Irishman will come out in theaters — and on Netflix. You read that right: the streaming service has signed on the prolific director behind Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, and The Wolf of Wall Street. The film, a mob drama about the teamster organizer who claimed to have killed Jimmy Hoffa, is based on Charles Brandt's true-crime book I Heard You Paint Houses. While we don't have an exact release date yet, we're pretty close to one. In the recently dropped trailer for the film, Netflix announced that The Irishman will come out in Autumn 2019 in theaters and on streaming.
It's no secret that Netflix has been working hard to be taken seriously in the cultivated film world. Over the last year, Alfonso Cuarón's name has dominated award season with the release of his tender masterpiece Roma, which is especially unique because of its wide release on the streaming giant. The movie picked up three Oscars out of ten nominations for best director, foreign language film, and cinematography. In addition to Roma, Netflix's Mudbound and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs have also been recent Oscar contenders. With a talented cast that includes Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci, The Irishman's premature Academy Awards buzz is warranted, given that its trailer dropped on the night of the Oscars. Not to mention, the movie's budget is $140 million dollars, a significant amount of which may or may not go toward deageing De Niro.
Like Roma, The Irishman will have a theatrical run, but we shouldn't expect it to be exclusively in theaters for too long. Paul Schrader, Scorsese's collaborator in Taxi Driver, has commented on the length of the movie's run in an interview with /Film. "Two weeks, that's all [Scorsese] could get as his theatrical window," Schrader said. "Netflix doesn't care about theatrical windows. The studios are collapsing. Netflix is the new model." Neither Scorsese nor Netflix has confirmed this, but the streaming service is known to give its award players an early limited theatrical run to qualify them for the Oscars. According to Variety, Bird Box and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs both had one-week runs, while Roma had roughly three weeks.
We don't know if there's going to be anything different about the in-theater version, but it's likely that The Irishman will have an earlier exclusive theatrical run before hitting Netflix for fans who can't wait to watch the movie. It's worth paying to watch it, though. Scorsese's inventive shots and kinetic visuals are definitely worth viewing on the big screen. Still, we wouldn't be surprised if many are huddling up behind their laptops and smart TVs to experience the movie in all its glory while taking advantage of their bumped-up subscription rates.