Martin Scorsese is spending a ton of money for his new gangster movie, “The Irishman.” Multiple sources confirm to Deadline that the budget has skyrocketed past the $140 million mark as principal photography nears its end and the movie’s lengthy post-production process is set to begin.
Part of the reason the movie’s budget continues to climb is because of the de-aging process Scorsese is using to make star Robert De Niro appear decades younger during certain portions of the film. “The Irishman” tells the true story of mobster Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, who carried out more than 25 hits and was allegedly involved in the death of mob boss Jimmy Hoffa. The film is framed around an older Sheeran looking back on his life, and De Niro plays all iterations of the character.
Scorsese will be working with VFX company Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) during post-production. The company is famous for using the same technology on David Fincher’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”
“The Irishman” made news a year ago when it was announced Netflix would be producing and distributing. A major reason Netflix reportedly got involved was because Scorsese needed at least $100 million to make the film, a budget the director’s longtime distributor Paramount wasn’t willing to risk. Netflix agreed to a $125 million budget, which includes Scorsese’s estimated $10-15 million payday, but the more expensive shoot and the money needed for the VFX is sending the cost north of $140 million.
At this rate, “The Irishman” could very well become Scorsese’s most expensive production. The record belongs to “Hugo” right now with a budget north of $150 million. “The Irishman” has already exceeded the $100 million production budgets of “Gangs of New York” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” plus the $110 million it cost to make “The Aviator.” The film is expected to be released by Netflix sometime in 2019.