Paul Schrader Confirms That Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’ Will Only Play in Theaters for 2 Weeks

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brian-mcgee - October 26, 2018

Taxi Driver was one of the great collaborations between writer and director of all time, and that film's writer has a bit of new information for us about the director's next project. In a new interview with SlashFilm, Paul Schrader talks about his excellent latest film, First Reformed—his best film in years—and also gives an update on Martin Scorsese's next project, the Netflix Original film about Jimmy Hoffa titled The Irishman.

When asked about the autonomy afforded filmmakers by working for a streaming service like Netflix, Schrader said that such autonomy comes at a price, and often isn't the total creative control filmmakers are after...

Schrader: A friend of mine is producing and directing a new edition of Tales of the City. And he was saying that Netflix has given him all kinds of notes. Scorsese is doing this film for them now. A $140,000,000 film.

The Irishman.

Yeah. Two weeks, that’s all he could get as his theatrical window. And the Netflix doesn’t care about theatrical windows. The studios are collapsing. Netflix is the new model. It’s also upended film financing because since the seventies, a lot of films are financed by selling territories. You sell foreign territories, you get some equity. But Netflix and Amazon, they don’t want territories. They want the world or nothing. And so when you go to Netflix, they get the world and there are no profit statements and there are no box office figures but you get paid. So the reason, you know, Marty’s got $140,000,000 for that film is because he’s getting essentially paid up front.

So that’s the future? Of cinema?

I have a hard time separating the future of cinema from the future period.

Yes, Schrader is still quite the curmudgeon, but he makes a valid point about the imminent collapse of the studio system. It won't be long before there's only three or four majors left, and you'd better believe Netflix will be one of them. I'm curious to see where it's all heading and terrified at the same time. The Irishman will debut in Netflix, along with select theaters for two weeks, sometime next year.

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