Discipline was not a principle The Irishman ever tried to adhere to. With an ensemble cast and a 200 minute plus runtime, excess was the name of the game, something which appears to have been borne out by its budget.
To get things straight, we already knew it had blockbuster financial backing, as its originally reported budget was around $160 million. Not exactly an indie affair, then. But a new article from The Hollywood Reporter has put the actual figure at over $225 million, which is all the more remarkable for a film that never had a theatrical run. I’m no accountant, and I’ve no idea how Netflix’s economy operates, but that’s certainly some outlay to recoup.
It’s not the most obvious production to command that kind of budget, either, as there are no flashy special effects (sort of) or major action set pieces. You watch Blade Runner 2049 or Avengers: Endgame, and it’s pretty clear where the money has been spent. On The Irishman, it was a little more subtle.
For starters, a cast/crew list of Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Martin Scorsese likely commanded hefty fees. Then there’s myriad sets (of a very high standard), and the one special effect of note in the movie – De Niro’s deaging, which on the whole worked just fine. Much more successful than Samuel L Jackson’s waxwork treatment in Captain Marvel anyhow.
Got any thoughts on The Irishman’s even bigger budget? I’m not sure why you would or what else there is to say on it, but if you have any surprising declarations to make, drop them in a comment below. It looks like Scorsese’s next film Killers of the Flower Moon will be no different. He just doesn’t do it on the cheap. Or for cheap, to put it differently.