Netflix may not be known for giving its movies wide theatrical releases, but they're certainly getting creative with The Irishman. The latest from Martin Scorsese, which is viewed as a serious awards season contender, is set to have a one-month stint on Broadway at the historic Belasco Theatre in New York City. This will be the first time that the theatre has screened a movie in its long, storied history, which dates back to 1907.
From acclaimed director Martin Scorsese, The Irishman will run at The Belasco Theatre from November 1 to December 1. This is in addition to the limited theatrical rollout that Netflix is giving the gangster drama, which kicks off on November 1 in Los Angeles and New York, with plans to expand into smaller chains around the country after that. Martin Scorsese had this to say about his upcoming Broadway run in a statement.
"We've lost so many wonderful theaters in New York City in recent years, including single house theaters like the Ziegfeld and the Paris. The opportunity to recreate that singular experience at the historic Belasco Theatre is incredibly exciting. Ted Sarandos, Scott Stuber, and their team at Netflix have continued to find creative ways to make this picture a special event for audiences and I'm thankful for their innovation and commitment."
Indeed, Martin Scorsese is a man who is all about preserving the idea of cinema and the theatrical experience. But, nobody else was willing to put up the money for The Irisman, which uses expensive de-aging technology for Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel and Al Pacino. The price tag is said to be in the $170 million neighborhood. Still, it was important for Scorsese to get his movie into theaters, and not just have it go straight to streaming. This is one creative way to accomplish that goal.
The problem is that AMC and Regal, the two largest theater chains in the country, couldn't reach terms with Netflix in regards to screening the movie. AMC and Regal wanted a full, three-month, traditional theatrical window before The Irishman was made available on Netflix. The streaming service wouldn't budge. This has been a point of contention in the industry, as studios are pushing for shorter theatrical windows, but theater chains are worried it will cut into their business. Scott Stuber, head of Netflix Film, had this to say in a statement.
"It's an immense honor for The Irishman to be welcomed to the Belasco, an iconic and historic landmark fit for Scorsese's latest cinematic achievement."
The Irishman centers on hitman Frank Sheeran, who had strong ties to union boss Jimmy Hoffa, whose disappearance remains unsolved to this day. The 210 minute long epic recently debuted at the New York Film Festival, where it earned rave reviews. Thus far, it has an unblemished 100 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Tickets for The Irishman at the Belasco will cost $15, plus fees, and will be available at Telecharge.com. The Irishman hits Netflix on November 27.