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.
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.