Scorsese and DiCaprio

“Killers of the Flower Moon” would be the sixth film collaboration for Scorsese and DiCaprio. Filming this spring in Oklahoma has been delayed due to the pandemic. Courtesy/Paramount Pictures

Filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s movie “Killers of the Flower Moon” might become a streaming-service production much like his movie “The Irishman” did with Netflix.

That’s according to a published report that says the budget on the movie, which is set to film in Oklahoma, has grown to a degree that Paramount Pictures is allowing Scorsese to shop the project.

The movie, to star Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, is based on David Grann’s book about the 1920’s “Reign of Terror” that saw Osage Nation tribal members murdered in order to steal their oil-rich land.

Filming was scheduled to begin in the Pawhuska area this spring, but all film productions have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported that the budget for “Killers of the Flower Moon” has swelled to $200 million, and Scorsese is now speaking with officials at Netflix as well as Apple and others as potential partners in financing the film.

If Scorsese were to move the film from Paramount to a streaming service for rising production costs, it would mirror what happened on his De Niro-starring and Oscar-nominated “The Irishman.”

In that case, production costs ballooned for the star-studded gangster film, especially for digital “de-aging” effects used to make De Niro, Joe Pesci and others appear younger in scenes set in the past for the multi-decade story.

“The Irishman” went from being a Paramount production to Netflix.

The movie debuted on the streaming service after playing for a short time in independent theaters, including Tulsa’s Circle Cinema, but not in major theater chains that refuse to screen streaming movies.

In addition, “The Irishman” went to Netflix with a running time of 3 hours, 30 minutes, at a time when only two Hollywood studio features have been released at three hours in length in the last decade: “Avengers: Endgame” and Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street.”


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Michael Smith

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