Scorsese courts Apple to rescue $200M film starring DiCaprio and De Niro

Martin Scorsese’s representatives have been holding talks with Apple, Netflix, and others, as they seek a new company to produce or distribute the director’s next big-budget film, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing “people familiar with the matter.” This would mark the second time in a row that a Scorsese project has become too costly for its original studio.

Scorsese Apple: Apple TV+ is home to the biggest directors and top stars
Apple TV+ is home to the biggest directors and top stars

Joe Flint reports for The Wall Street Journal:

The project, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” had been slated for production at ViacomCBS Inc.’s Paramount Pictures, but then the movie’s cost ballooned to more than $200 million, another person familiar with the matter said.

Paramount Pictures agreed in 2019 to make the big-budget drama, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. Even before the coronavirus pandemic upended the global economy and brought Hollywood productions to a halt, Paramount executives expressed concern over the film’s rising projected cost, according to this person. They gave the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s representatives the go-ahead to offer the project to other studios, the person said.

The movie could still end up at Paramount, these people said, but possibly with a new structure that includes an additional partner.

In 2017, after costs jumped on “The Irishman,” also starring Mr. De Niro, its producers moved the project to Netflix. Estimates for Netflix’s total spending to produce the movie range from $173 million to more than $200 million, according to people familiar with the movie’s numbers, making it one of the most expensive adult dramas in recent history.

A streaming platform like Apple or Netflix may be a better fit for “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Traditional studios have been increasingly shying away from expensive adult dramas, as in recent years the box office has been dominated by family-friendly titles, superhero movies and sequels.

MacDailyNews Take: Seems risky, but if Apple wants to make a splash for Apple TV+, they certainly have the cash to risk.


  1. January 2020 – Apple purchases, a company that creates artificial intelligence tools for $200 million . . . In April 2020, Martin Scorsese tries to pitch a movie to Apple for 200 million dollars . . . just like A Christmas Carol, I hope that Steve Jobs makes a visit to Tim Cook. What would Steve say?

    1. Wasn’t this site praising Operations Genius for years when Apple manufacturing was being outsourced to China? Steve would say it’s not his problem, those jobs aren’t coming back.

      Now Cook is going to do whatever he wants to do and no amount of hatred for his liberalism is going to change that. Corporations aren’t democratic. Right wingers cheered for unlimited autocratic corporate power and deregulation so labor & investors & communities have less and less ability to see transparent corporate decisions, let alone have a seat at the table. You reap what your investment dollars have created. Cook’s using Apple as his own little SJW funding machine. You’re going to see a lot more liberal media from Apple. MDN will gloss over its increasing hypocrisy. It should be embarrassed trying to pump up the corporate machine while whining nonstop about specific people that are enabled by lack of proper corporate regulations. The system is broken and you — not the media, not China, not the Democrats — you and your selfish greed enabled corporatocracy in America. You keep shopping at Walmart buying Chinese junk, some of it with Apple stickers on it, you buy imported cars and oil and food, and you support the corrupt politicians that pretend to care about America while they give tax breaks to the biggest multinational corporations. Then you wonder why US small manufacturing is dying. Because you spent all your time and money on enabling corporate takeover of everything your whole life. Next article, you will tell everyone what new gadget is needed to make a person happy, and how to save money by getting it from liberal near-slave working condition Amazon.

  2. Right wingers are currently sucking up like EVERYONE ELSE (human) in times of trouble…..Wall Street/Gentry class however is winning as usual (it is preordained).

  3. Fantastic book. Could be a great movie…better than the awful Irishman. That said, and having work in the industry for years, 200m for this picture is beyond ridiculous. No way will Apple buy this period piece in spite of the players involved. Netflix will. Dumb Netflix!

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