Rian Johnson says it’s a tragedy The Irishman isn’t playing in more theaters

The Irishman, Rian Johnson

On November 27th, Netflix will release Martin Scorsese‘s THE IRISHMAN, his epic crime drama which features an all-star cast including Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci. While the film is being played in select theaters, most won’t have the opportunity to see the film until it debuts on Netflix, and KNIVES OUT writer/director Rian Johnson believes that’s a tragedy.

During an interview with IndieWire, Johnson said that THE IRISHMAN is “manufactured to be seen with a big crowd — everyone laughing and involved with it. It’s going to be totally different than seeing it home alone… Look, just as a moviegoer, it’s great that some people can see ‘The Irishman’ in the theater. It’s a tragedy that more people can’t.” While I certainly agree that more people should be able to see THE IRISHMAN in theaters (I was fortunate enough to be able to catch it last night), Johnson goes on to say that if it weren’t for Netflix, we probably wouldn’t be seeing THE IRISHMAN at all.

I’m conflicted. Obviously, these movies are getting made because Netflix is stepping up to the plate and making them. We would not have a three-and-a-half hour movie that does what ‘The Irishman’ does, that has that luxury, without Netflix taking a big swing. Now that Netflix is producing important movies with great directors, it’s just pushing the issue more and more. I’m happy Netflix is doing what they’re doing.

The day which THE IRISHMAN drops on Netflix also happens to be when Rian Johnson’s KNIVES OUT hit theaters, but unlike THE IRISHMAN, Johnson’s film will be enjoying a wide-release. You can check out a review of THE IRISHMAN from our own Chris Bumbray right here.

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