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Netflix's The Irishman Was Even More Expensive Than Previously Thought

A new report reveals the budget of the mobster movie--and it's gigantic.


Acclaimed director Martin Scorsese tried for years to make The Irishman, but he struggled to find a home for it at a traditional studio before it eventually landed at Netflix. One of the reasons why, it seems, is that the budget for the film was astronomical. A new story from The Hollywood Reporter claims that The Irishman carried a budget of more than $225 million, which makes it one of the most expensive movies in history.

Before release, it was widely reported that The Irishman had a $160 million budget, but THR's sources say it was considerably higher.

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The $225 million budget for The Irishman is likely only its production budget, so the true cost of the movie--factoring in marketing spend and other elements--surely brings the figure even higher.

Part of what made The Irishman so expensive was its use of digital de-aging technology for the main cast, including Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci. Scorsese said at The New York Film Festival in 2019 that the movie represented a "costly experiment" for Netflix, according to Inc.

Despite putting so much money into The Irishman, Netflix is said to have given Scorsese full creative control. Scorsese said at the film festival that there was "no interference of any kind" in the production of the film, though Netflix executives did provide notes.

Also contributing to the cost of The Irishman was actor salaries. According to THR, Scorsese is paid in the area of $20 million per movie, while DeNiro, Pesci, and Al Pacino are believed to command massive paydays. For example, THR said DeNiro is being paid around $15 million to star in Scorsese's next movie, Killers of the Flower Moon.

The Irishman earned 10 Academy Award nominations--including Best Picture--but it got completely shut out at the awards show.

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