Netflix's The Irishman Was Even More Expensive Than We Thought

Robert De Niro The Irishman

Martin Scorsese's The Irishman was a well regarded movie that received a lot of awards attention and critical acclaim. Many called it the best movie ever made by the director, who had already made some of the greatest movies of all time. However, that success came at a cost, and the cost, as it turns out was even higher than we thought because The Irishman's price tag was apparently significantly higher than was previously reported.

Initial reports were that The Irishman cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $175 million, which was already a pretty expensive movie, but now THR is reporting that the number is closer to $225 million.

The Irishman was always going to be an expensive movie. It had a cast that included Robert de Nro and Al Pacino, and you gotta figure Martin Scorsese had to make it worth Joe Pesci's while to come out of retirement, so the salaries alone were going to add up, but the much bigger expense was the digital effects. While The Irishman isn't all that different from some of Martin Scorsese's other mob-inspired films, at least in structure and story, the movie follows its characters over the course of decades, and so digital technology was used throughout the film to make actors like Robert De Niro appear younger.

Because so much of the movie deals with earlier time periods, The Irishman has potentially as many digital effects shots as your average superhero movie. And so fittingly, the movie apparently had a budget on par with one. Movie budgets can be difficult to nail down. Often the number called a "budget" doesn't include things like the marketing costs to promote the film, but sometimes it does. It's possible that the $225 million number is just the $175 million with the additional P+A numbers attached. In which case we now have a better idea what the final cost of making The Irishman was.

Alternatively, it could be that the $225 million is just a more accurate number for what the production process of the film cost, which would mean the final number after marketing is even higher. Considering that Netflix was initially looking to spend something in the range of $125 million to make the movie, the budget certainly ballooned, and even more than we previously thought.

The Irishman budget situation is potentially important because we know that the budget for Martin Scorsese's next movie, Killers of the Flower Moon, is now also a topic of concern. Paramount reportedly went looking for help with the budget of the film, which has resulted in the studio striking a deal with Apple. This was the same reason that Netflix ended up with Irishman and so one wonders if we could history repeating itself. That new film will co-star Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.