Director Martin Scorcese’s latest film, The Irishman, has fallen victim to Netflix’s theatrical distribution model. The 3 and a half hour crime epic, which reunites Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, has been essentially boycotted by large theater distribution chains due to its three-week limit for theatrical distribution. Most large multiplexes have a theatrical window of 90 days. “Martin Scorsese deserved better,” John Fithian, president and chief executive of National Association of Theater Owners, said in a statement to The Associated Press.
Instead, Netflix has planned a three week exclusive run in smaller, independent theaters before releasing the film for streaming on Nov. 27. Despite attempting to negotiate distribution terms with large chains like AMC and Cineplex earlier this year, they failed to reach an agreement. Based on Charles Brandt’s 2004 narrative nonfiction book I Heard You Paint Houses, the film follows De Niro as the titular Irishman. The Irishman also stars Pacino and Pesci in leading roles, as well as a supporting cast featuring Ray Romano, Anna Paquin, Harvey Keitel and Bobby Cannavale.
The film has received critical acclaim for its direction, acting, and screenplay. Costing $159 million to make, it is one of the most expensive Netflix films ever made. After having its world premiere at The 57th New York Film Festival in September, The Irishman began its theatrical release on Nov. 1. It will be available to stream on Netflix Nov. 27.