Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman is the kind of ambitious picture that regular studios would side-eye: an epic spanning decades and employing de-aging technology to make its stars look younger based on where a scene falls in the film’s timeline. Paramount had its eye on the project before Netflix made Scorsese a better deal, and while a lot of people are side-eyeing Netflix’s model — especially when it comes to their relationship with brick-and-mortar movie theaters (or lack thereof) — Robert De Niro says the funding Netflix offered for the project made it their best option.

While chatting with Deadline about a number of different topics, De Niro explained why old school Hollywood legend Martin Scorsese chose to make his new movie for Netflix.

I think that’s good also because we need the money to do it right and it just wasn’t financeable in another way, in the traditional film way, if you will. They’re trying to really do it as the best it’s ever been. We’re doing the young stuff first and taking it decade-by-decade so that later the oldest stuff will be closer to our own age. So they’re trying to really make it as good as they can make it, and that’s the goal, that it can be something special that everyone would want to see and see it done as well as it can at this point. I’m excited by it and looking forward to doing it.

The streaming service is reportedly offering around $150 million for the movie. Netflix made a name for itself with its original material, pretty much throwing as much money at projects as their directors asked for. It’s home to a group of notoriously expensive shows, many of which have been cancelled, and is using the same model to make its original movies. At this stage, no director is too hot for the streaming service, and no project too daunting. It sounds like they’re doing their best to work with Scorsese and make his vision a reality, and I can definitely get behind that. Still holding out hope that they’ll release The Irishman in theaters, though.

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