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When it was revealed that Martin Scorsese's last movie, The Irishman was going to be a movie made specifically for Netflix, it was a huge move. One of the most popular directors in Hollywood for decades, a name that was synonymous with the mere concept of the theatrical experience, was going to release a movie that basically you would have to watch on TV. And it was a gangster epic, a movie right in the classic Scorsese wheelhouse. Well, it looks like maybe Martin Scorsese will get to explore streaming yet again, because his next movie looks to be going to Apple TV+.
The deal hasn't actually closed yet, but it's expected to happen in the next few days. It's also not specifically stated that Apple financing the film means it will be an Apple TV+ exclusive product, but it's difficult to imagine why Apple would be interested in financing the project if that wasn't part of the deal.
It's possible that Killers of the Flower Moon could still see some sort of theatrical run in addition to showing up on the Apple streaming platform. That's what happened to The Irishman, after all, and especially if there's a feeling Killers could be an awards contender, that could very well happen. And really, a period drama that will be directed by Martin Scorsese that will co-star Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro is exactly what you would probably produce if you were trying to build an Oscar contender in a lab.
According to Variety, Martin Scorsese envisioned this film to be a theatrical release rather than a streaming film, so it's unclear how this decision will go over with the larger project, but it seems that the film, which was looking to have a budget around $200 million, simply needed to find more financing.
This is another big get for Apple, which recently acquired the rights to Greyhound, the World War II drama starring Tom Hanks. Apple's service is almost entirely built around original content, so the service needs as much of it as possible if it's going to be successful.
Of course, when we'll actually see Killers of the Flower Moon on Apple TV+ or otherwise is still up in the air. The production is apparently in a holding pattern right now, mainly due to Leonardo DiCaprio's schedule. He's looking to potentially get involved in another film before beginning Killers. At this point, it seems likely nobody is in any particular hurry. For his part, DiCaprio has said he doesn't have an issue making films for streaming.