It’s been a year of unusual and high-profile film-festival deals. Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation” set a Sundance record when it was bought by Fox Searchlight for $17.5 million in January, Amazon Studios nabbed the rights to five different Cannes selections before they’d premiered and now Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” has been picked up for international distribution by STX Entertainment for as much as $50 million. According to Deadline, the deal was made late last night following a long bidding war that also involved the likes of Universal, Fox and Lionsgate.
The film is set to re-team Scorsese with Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel; if things go according to plan, it’ll also mark the first collaboration between the filmmaker and Al Pacino. “The Irishman” was adapted by Steve Zaillian from Charles Brandt’s book “I Heard You Paint Houses,” a hitman confessional. Zaillian previously worked with Scorsese on “Gangs of New York” and won an Oscar for writing “Schindler’s List.”
READ MORE: The 8 Best Things ‘Taxi Driver’ Super-Fan Quentin Tarantino Has Said About Martin Scorsese’s Enduring Classic
“The Irishman” is by far the biggest deal to come out of Cannes this year, eclipsing the $9 million STX paid for Aaron Sorkin’s “Molly’s Game.” The studio was formed just two years ago, and Scorsese’s film has the potential to be its most high-profile offering yet in its young history.