Martin Scorsese is arguably the greatest living American filmmaker, so every move he makes in the film industry is a big deal. That is why his star-studded gangster mob drama The Irishman has been such a source of intrigue over the last few years.
It first began in traditional Hollywood at Paramount Pictures before budget concerns over the period piece rerouted it to Netflix. Its collection of old school stars—which includes Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci—is particularly exciting to a certain demographic. But its ballooning budget, first reported at $100 million and now believed to be closer to $200 million, is a constant attention-grabber for Hollywood both old and new.
Now, after two years of speculation, we have our very first trailer for the highly-anticipated feature.
It’s no secret that Netflix desperately lusts after Academy Awards. It’s why the deep-pocketed market-leading streamer spent a historic sum of money trying to push Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma as a Best Picture-winner. But where Roma came up short, Netflix is betting The Irishman can pull through. Even as Steven Spielberg and a segment of the old-school Academy push back against the encroaching streamer and its at-home release model, Netflix is determined to champion The Irishman for a litany of honors. To do that, they will have to play by the studio rules.
According to a 2017 Variety report, Scorsese sough a guarantee from Netflix that the film would receive a theatrical run. The outlet reported at the time that the commitment was made by Netflix’s film division chief, Scott Stuber, and that The Irishman would play in theaters for at least two weeks (Roma received an exclusive three-week theatrical run last year). However, this was never publicly confirmed.
Earlier this year, it was said that Scorsese was seeking a traditional wide release for The Irishman and that Netflix was working to acquiesce, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This would require Netflix to allow theater owners to report box office numbers. The widest release of Scorsese’s career is 2010’s Shutter Island, which opened on 3,356 screens nationwide.
While we do know that The Irishman will open the New York Film Festival, no word of a wide release has yet been given by the streamer. Forbes‘ Scott Mendelson recently wrote that “the film will open sometime this fall in what is presumed to be a wider theatrical release than normal for Netflix as it has all eyes on a bunch of Oscar nominations, if not Oscar victories.” So, while we still know nothing (Jon Snow), we can likely expect Netflix to open The Irishman wider and for longer than Roma. But it’s still a stretch to see the streamer investing in a traditional full-on theatrical release campaign.