According to a new report from Deadline this evening, Apple has reached a deal with Paramount to help finance Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon adaptation. Under the deal, Paramount would still distribute the film. The deal has also been corroborated by the Wall Street Journal.
Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio are set to play the lead roles in the film alongside Robert Di Niro. Paramount originally acquired the project, though it recently allowed it to be shopped around as the studio grew weary of the $180 to $200 million price tag.
Once Scorsese and DiCaprio’s manager Rick Yorn got the go-ahead to shop the film around, Netflix, Apple, Universal, MGM, and others started chasing it, but the deal is nearing completion with Apple.
The report explains that Apple will help finance the film and serve as its creative studio. This means the film will still be released in theaters, but will eventually come to the Apple TV+ streaming service — and it will be an “Apple Original Film.”
The deal, which calls for Apple to finance and become the creative studio, gives the movie a hybrid situation and the best of both worlds. The film will get a wide theatrical release through Paramount before it becomes the biggest film title so far on Apple’s streaming service.
A report in April first indicated Apple’s interest in funding the Martin Scorsese film, which is based on a best selling book of the same name. If this situation sounds familiar, it’s because something similar took place with Scorsese’s last film The Irishman. It was originally in development at Paramount but the film’s rumored $175 million budget also saw Paramount sell the film on to Netflix.
This time around, Apple appears to have reached the deal with Paramount instead of Netflix. As we explained in April, this could be because Apple TV+ has generally been more open to premiering films in theaters first, whereas Netflix generally wants all originals debuted first on its streaming service.
This will mark the second major feature film deal for Apple TV+ recently. Last week, Apple TV+ secured the rights to the upcoming World War II film Greyhound which was written by and stars Tom Hanks for $70 million.
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