Martin Scorsese in Talks with Apple, Netflix to Distribute Big-Budget 'Killers of the Flower Moon'

The film's budget has reportedly exceeded $200 million, and Scorsese is seeking a new studio to produce or distribute the project.
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Martin Scorsese is reportedly seeking a new home for his next big-budget feature film, "Killers of the Flower Moon."

Representatives for the director are in talks with Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report and Netflix  (NFLX) - Get Report to "rescue" the costly project, according to The Wall Street Journal. The film is currently slated for production at ViacomCBS' Paramount Pictures, but its budget has ballooned to more than $200 million. 

Paramount Pictures gave Scorsese the green light to seek a new studio, and he has reportedly approached Comcast's CMCSA Universal Studios and MGM, in addition to Apple and Netflix. 

Any deal with Apple or Netflix would involve those companies compensating Paramount Pictures for money already spent on the project, according to the WSJ. 

"Killers of the Flower Moon," which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, follows the murder of the oil-rich Osage Nation Native Americans in 1920s Oklahoma, and the burgeoning federal law enforcement agency investigating the case. 

If the film wound up on Netflix, it would be the second time in recent memory that a Scorsese feature wound up on Netflix after exceeding its original budget. 

"The Irishman," a 3 1/2 hour opus about storied Teamster Jimmy Hoffa,  went live on Netflix after a limited theater run. That film reportedly cost between $173 million and more than $200 million, and was moved to Netflix by its original producers.

At an investor conference in January, Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos said that distributing big-budget, splashy films on its platform boosts its value in the eyes of consumers, and translates into pricing power. 

If "Killers of the Flower Moon" wound up at Apple, it would be one of its first forays into high-profile feature films. Apple TV+, which was launched last November, has focused largely on television series and documentaries to date.