Why The Irishman Trailer Release Is a Big Deal

The trailer, released Wednesday, paints it as an awards contender—and it's on Netflix
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2019 3:20 PM CDT
Updated Aug 1, 2019 3:45 PM CDT

"One of the first trailers for an obvious awards-bait film" this season was just released, writes Ani Bundel at NBC News, but the film—Martin Scorsese's The Irishman—is heading to Netflix. That shouldn't be shocking in 2019, but the fact that "one of the biggest directors in movie history" wants a film starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci at a streaming service is "remarkable," Bundel writes. At a time when film festivals are turning their backs on streaming services, Hollywood VIPs are pooh-poohing them, and some awards shows are demanding films get a theater release before streaming in order to be eligible, one might wonder why Scorsese would take an obvious awards contender to Netflix. (The film will come to "select theaters," per a press release.)

It's partly the numbers: "Even dreck like Murder Mystery and Triple Frontier—films that would most likely stink up the box office—come out on top when they are easy 'hit play' offerings for users bored at home," she writes, noting that some made-for-Netflix romcoms get 30 million to 40 million views. What's more, "Netflix no longer feels like a place for B-list movies; old veterans like Scorsese and De Niro are fleeing there, too," and Scorsese's move may finally push the industry to stop trying to block Netflix films from the awards circuit. As for the film, in which Pacino stars as Jimmy Hoffa, the Hollywood Reporter says de-aging visual effects are used to make the actors appear younger. Their characters appear from ages 30 to 70, per Fox Business, which points to CGI technology as a possible reason for the film's $173 million budget. (More Netflix stories.)

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