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Martin Scorsese Talking With Apple, Netflix to Distribute Next Film — Report

Rising costs on “Killers of the Flower Moon” starring Leonardo DiCaprio have forced Scorsese to seek partners outside Paramount, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Martin Scorsese'The Irishman' film premiere, Arrivals, TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, USA - 24 Oct 2019

Martin Scorsese

Rob Latour/Shutterstock

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Martin Scorsese’s representatives are in talks with Apple and Netflix to produce and/or distribute “Killers of the Flower Moon.” The project, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, is currently set up at Paramount but the studio is balking at its ballooning budget.

The film is now expected to cost over $200 million, and Paramount told Scorsese to seek out other partners. According to the report, Scorsese also reached out to Universal and MGM — but Paramount is open to a deal that would still allow them to participate as as financier or distributor.

The film is based on the award-winning 2017 true crime book “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” that centered on members of an Oklahoman Native American tribe in the 1920s whose murders sparked a major federal investigation. “Killers of the Flower Moon” also will star Robert De Niro, who also starred in Scorsese’s “The Irishman.”

Paramount’s alleged issue with the upcoming film’s costs is the second time that the studio has clashed with Scorsese over financial issues. “The Irishman” was also originally slated for distribution by Paramount, but  Netflix acquired the film after it became too expensive for the studio. WSJ estimated costs for “Irishman” at $173 million — considerably less than “Flower Moon.”

The AppleTV+ platform has placed a greater emphasis on celebrity-driven television series over films, and a Scorsese title would be its biggest film by a magnitude. Prior titles include “Hala” and “The Banker.”

IndieWire has reached out to Apple and Netflix for comment.

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