Martin Scorsese Signs First Look Deal With Apple

Martin Scorsese, the man known for deciding what is cinema and what is not cinema, is taking his cinematic effots to Apple TV. Scorsese has been loving making movies for streaming services lately and Apple is not the latest to open up their check book for the legendary filmmakers. Scorsese will be basing his Sikelia Productions banner with Apple in a multi-year deal for film and television projects, calling for his works to be developed directly with Apple TV+. The first title which Scorsese will be developing there is Killers of the Flower Moon.

Killers of the Flower Moon is an adaptation of the David Grann non-fiction book written for television by Eric Roth. It will star Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, two actors who are no strangers to working with Scorsese. Apple won the filmmaker's deal with a $180 million bid at auction, claiming the title which was originally optioned by Paramount. Paramount will still distribute the film theatrically. Killers of the Flower Moon is to be produced by Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas at Imperative Entertainment. The film is currently in pre-production and expected to begin shooting in February of 2021 in Oklahoma.

"Berthed for years at Paramount — in 2015 the studio extended the deal for four years — Sikelia Productions was established by the Oscar-winning Scorsese in 2003," Deadline reports. "The company manages and produces all of Scorsese’s projects including: 2019’s The Irishman, 2016’s Silence, 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street, 2011’s Hugo, 2010’s Shutter Island, the 2006 Best Picture Oscar winner The Departed, 2004’s The Aviator, and the series Boardwalk Empire and Vinyl. The documentaries include: The 50 Year Argument, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, A Letter to Elia, Public Speaking, Shine A Light, and No Direction Home: Bob Dylan. Upcoming on the docu front are An Afternoon with SCTV, an Untitled Fran Lebowitz project and Untitled David Johansen project, all of which are in post production."

Apple TV+ is looking to be a major player in the streaming wars which also include Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, and more at a crowded table battling for their share of subscriptions. Apple has secured Sikelia Productions along with Idris Elba's Green Door Pictures, ridley Scott's Scott Free Productions, A24 and Imagine Doxumentariesk, and Sesame Workshop and Peanuts for kid programming titles.

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First reported by Deadline.

(Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Netflix)