Is Netflix the Hero That Will Save Great Filmmakers and Their "Risky" Films?
Yesterday it was reported that Netflix is going to back Martin Scorsese's $100 million gangster film, The Irishman. That's pretty incredible. The project was originally was supposed to be produced at Paramount Pictures, but they passed on it, so the filmmaker and his team shopped the project around. Netflix was the one that stepped up and offered to bring Scorsese's vision for this film to life.
An inside source told IndieWire, "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."
When a legendary filmmaker like Scorsese can't get a movie picked up by a major studio, you know Hollywood's priorities have completely changed. That's just crazy to me! Hell, the film even has a legendary cast that includes Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and a possible supporting cast of Joe Pesci, Bobby Cannavale, and likely Harvey Keitel!
The Irishman is based on Charles Brandt’s 2004 book, I Heard You Paint Houses, which focuses on the life of the mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran. Today, he's best known for a supposed involvement in the death of Jimmy Hoffa.
This movie is a film geek's dream come true! So, what are those priorities that have changed in Hollywood? They are putting their focus on sequels, remakes, reboots, and reimaginings. Original stories have been taking a back seat for awhile now, and fewer and fewer of them are getting released. Now, even the greatest of filmmakers can't even get the support they need from the big Hollywood studios. That's sad.
Thanks to Netflix, though, Scorsese will get to make The Irishman. It's awesome that they are in a position to do that. Netflix has been releasing a lot of great programming, and we've previously seen Netflix save certain TV series from ending on their networks. Now they are saving big budget films that the studios don't want. They are also buying up films from film festivals such as Sundance.
Speaking of which, Robert Redford is another legendary filmmaker Netflix stepped in to help out. They have a great film coming out soon called The Discovery, which also stars Jason Siegel and Rooney Mara. Think about it, if Scorsese and Redford are having problems with the studios, who's to say that other legendary filmmakers won't be next.
It seems to me like Netflix is ushering in a whole new era of entertainment, and they could be the hero that saves great filmmakers and the films they are passionate about making. It seems like they are giving their filmmakers the creative freedom to tell their stories their way.
There will always be a place for movies in movie theaters, but again, these days they are mostly being filled with sequels, remakes, reboots, and reimaginings of films that have already existed. Don't get me wrong, I love the experience of going to the movie theater and watching movies. I'm at the theater at least once or twice a week. I enjoy the big budget spectacle films, but I also enjoy watching the smaller character-driven stories from filmmakers like Scorsese.
There are also so many original stories out there that big studios won't touch because they are too much of a gamble. Thanks to what Netflix is doing, those films have a better chance of getting made and being seen. That's awesome! Who would have thought Netflix would grow into this major Hollywood player?
With the way things are headed, I believe that Netflix will be producing more and more high-quality films that will eventually end up putting the films that Hollywood produces to shame. Who knows, maybe even one day they will offer their very own unique big screen theatrical moviegoing experience.
Do you think Netflix is helping save great filmmaking and storytelling?