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Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’ Acquired By Netflix, Heading for 2019 Release

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After developing Silence for decades — as his producer says, after each new film since the 1990s, it was always planned to be his next project — Martin Scorsese finally completed his priest drama and despite what award season or the box office suggest, it will go down as one of his greatest films. For his next feature, he’ll be tackling another long-developing project with The Irishman, but according to a new report, it will be unprecedented territory for the director, distribution-wise.

Initially picked up by Paramount, who was planning to release it domestically, as well as Media Asia who picked up Chinese distribution, and STX Entertainment who has other international rights elsewhere, Indiewire reports a new deal has been made — and it is not with a theatrical distributor. Netflix has stepped in and grabbed worldwide rights, according to the outlet. “Scorsese’s movie is a risky deal, and Paramount is not in the position to take risks. This way, he can make the project he wants,” a source says, referencing the studio’s president Brad Grey making plans to step down.

Starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, and perhaps Joe Pesci and Bobby Cannavale, the crime drama is about Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a mob hitman whose illustrious career is today best-known for a supposed involvement in the death of Jimmy Hoffa. Once aiming for a 2018 release, it’s now more likely to arrive in 2019, including a day-and-date bow in theaters and on Netflix and a limited Oscar-qualifying run prior to that.

On one hand, Scorsese teaming with a producer/distributor that can likely provide his entire $100 million budget with no questions asked is a plus. However, we sincerely hope a substantial theatrical roll-out is planned as seeing a new Scorsese film for the first time from our couch just wouldn’t feel right. With that said, Netflix’s plan for a day-and-date roll-out likely means a major theatrical run won’t occur.

Unlike Amazon Studios, who don’t make their films immediately available to stream and instead team with a theatrical distributor — for example, Manchester by the Sea is on its way to $50 million domestic with the help of Roadside Attractions — Netflix has had little interest in his method. Hopefully they’ll rethink this day-and-date method when it comes to Scorsese, but at any rate, this game-changing news is a major coup for streaming platforms and as strong an indicator as any for where the future of the film industry is headed.

Editor-in-Chief of Movie Marker. Likes: Scorsese, Spielberg and Tarantino Dislikes: The film 'Open Water' I mean, what was that all about?

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Margot Robbie’s Next DC Film, Birds of Prey, Sets Release Date

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Following the casting rumours late last week, it appears Warner Bros. is really getting the ball rolling with their all-female superhero feature Birds of Prey, which is set to star The Wolf of Wall Street’s Margot Robbie.

Robbie, who will be reprising her role as Harley Quinn from director David Ayer’s critically-derided Suicide Squad, has been in chemistry tests for the past week with potential co-stars for Birds of Prey – including actresses Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle), and Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service).

Those tests appear to be giving Warner Bros.’ cause for confidence, as the flick has now been given a release date of the 7th of February 2020. Also out that month will be Sony’s Peter Rabbit sequel, and Bond 25 (which recently shifted its release due to a director reshuffle). Stiff competition, to be sure, indicating that WB – for good or ill – have faith in the DC project.

Birds of Prey will follow Harley Quinn as she unites a team of costumed vigilantes – including Orphan, The Huntress, and Black Canary – with Gotham City detective Renee Montoya to take on legendary crime lord Black Mask. The film will be directed by Dead Pigs’ Cathy Yan, and has a script from Bumblebee’s Christina Hodson. Margot Robbie can next be seen in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

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Jeff Bridges Gives Big Lebowski Remake His Blessing, On One Condition

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The man, the myth, the Dude himself, actor Jeff Bridges is currently on the press tour for his latest feature Bad Times at the El Royale, and naturally the beloved thespian was asked about The Big Lebowski.

Given Hollywood’s propensity for rebooting, remaking, and reimagining anything that anyone, anywhere even vaguely recollects, Variety decided to get out in front of tinsel town’s favourite business model, and to ask Bridges if  he would be interested in a remake of The Big Lebowski.

“Yeah, if I was in it!” he laughed with a shrug.

To be clear, no remake of The Big Lebowski has been officially announced, but it’s a fairly good bet that some executive somewhere has floated the idea at least once.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the cult-classic, which starred Bridges, John Goodman, and Julianne Moore in the story of a legendary slacker who is mistaken for a millionaire, and embroiled in a series of darkly comic criminal hijinks. The picture was written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, who recently allowed a reimagining/continuation of their 1996 picture Fargo to be adapted to television.

Bad Times at the El Royale also stars Chris Hemsworth, Dakota Johnson and Jon Hamm. It’s due for release in UK cinemas on the 12th of October, this year.

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The House With a Clock in Its Walls Tops Box Office, Fahrenheit 11/9 Lands With A Thud

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Eli Roth’s family fantasy adaptation of classic children’s novel The House With a Clock in Its Walls, which stars Cate Blanchett and Jack Black, has debuted at the top of the domestic box office – surpassing expectations with a very respectable $26.8 million opening weekend.

The House With a Clock in Its Walls is now Roth’s highest-ever opening, beating the previous record of his grisly horror feature Hostel, which opened to $19 million back in 2005. The flick beat out other newcomer Fahrenheit 11/9, Michael Moore’s latest scathing documentary on the Trump administration, which only managed a paltry $3.1 million. The film is the latest in a line of diminishing returns for Moore’s work.

Internationally, Conjuring-spinoff The Nun still held the gold medal at the box office with an impressive $35 million weekly taking, bringing its total earnings to $292.6 million worldwide.

This week’s features should have a pretty comfortable run over the next nine days to continue earning as the Summer movie season officially draws to a close, and studios shift to their Autumn slates. October 3rd will see the next big competition of the year, as Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s A Star Is Born opens opposite Tom Hardy’s super-antihero Venom.

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