Martin Scorsese's New Movie Is Way Over Budget, Will Netflix Step In?

Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese Films

Following the release of The Irishman last year, there were some comments from director Martin Scorsese indicating the movie could very well be his last. That didn’t last very long, however, as Scorsese signed on for Killers of The Flower Moon with Leonardo DiCaprio. Only now the longtime director seems to be having the same budget troubles with the new film he had with The Irishman.

After Irishman got plenty of buzz during awards season this past year, it was significant news when the director announced Killers of the Flower Moon. Ultimately, Paramount signed on to produce the movie, but now reports are indicating Killers of The Flower Moon has now ballooned way over its initial budget and Paramount has asked Martin Scorsese to find another distributing partner.

How much is way over? If a report over at the Wall Street Journal is accurate, Killers of the Flower Moon is now estimated to cost a whopping $200 million+ to come to life. This is more than but still fairly similar to the $175 million The Irishman reportedly cost, in that case largely due to the CGI de-aging of some of the movie’s characters.

In that case, Paramount was also involved before the budget ballooned. Netflix ultimately took on the Martin Scorsese film to add a little prestige to its streaming lineup. This time around, could Netflix again be Martin Scorsese’s savior?

It’s an interesting question. A lot of the types of films Netflix has been pushing out over the last few years have been lower budget genre movies. Some splashier releases like 6 Underground and Spenser Confidential have paid off in viewership spades, and The Irishman did get a lot of awards nods (although fewer wins than may have been anticipated).

The real question is whether or not The Irishman was successful enough for Netflix to consider an even higher budget this next time around. Martin Scorsese is still a splashy name as a director, but $200 million is also a lot of dollars. For comparison's sake, The Irishman was a little cheaper to create, but Scorsese actually had to wait years to get it off of the ground due to budget concerns.

This time around it’s a little unclear what exactly the movie could involve that would justify a larger price tag than The Irishman, but the report does mention there have been preliminary talks with other studios (MGM, Universal) but also Apple and Netflix, so it seems the huge budget is not totally off the table at this point. Plus, you never know if Killers of The Flower Moon might end up being Scorsese’s last film and who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

Killers of the Flower Moon is based on the book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, which follows a group of wealthy Osage Native Americans who have earned their money in the oil business. Despite their wealth – or more aptly because of it – they started to be killed off. The true story happened in the 1920s and would be another period drama and murder tale for Martin Scorsese.

So far, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro have signed on for the film – if it ultimately finds a home.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.