Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon may be distributed by Netflix or Apple due to rising production costs.
According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Paramount is having second thoughts about backing Killers of the Flower Moon, citing the film’s $200 million USD production budget. As a result, it’s possible Apple or Netflix picks it up instead. Scorsese’s also contacted Universal and MGM about distribution.
“Martin Scorsese’s representatives have been holding talks with Apple Inc., Netflix Inc. and others, as they seek a new company to produce or distribute the director’s next big-budget film, according to people familiar with the matter. This shift would be the second time in a row the director’s project has become too costly for its original studio,” reads the report.
The studio reportedly gave the director permission to shop the movie — which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro — around elsewhere after its budget grew to over $200 million USD. If Killers of the Flower Moon does wind up with Netflix or AppleTV+, it will be the second time in a row that a Scorsese has become too expensive for its original studio; The Irishman moved from Paramount to Netflix after its production costs rose to $173 million USD.
Citing an anonymous person familiar with the matter, the Journal notes that Killers of the Flower Moon still could theoretically wind up with Paramount, though that seems less than likely.
“The project could still end up being produced at Paramount, but that appears unlikely given the current budget and script, a person familiar with the studio’s thinking said,” the publication writes. “If a streaming company took over the project, the studio could consider a partnership through which it handles theatrical distribution, the person said. But no matter what, any company interested in assuming control of the movie has to go through Paramount and would have to compensate the studio for money invested in the project, the person also said.”
The film is based on the award-winning 2017 true crime book “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” that centered on members of an Oklahoman Native American tribe in the 1920s whose murders sparked a major federal investigation.