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Rian Johnson Thinks It’s A Tragedy That The Irishman Doesn’t Have A Wide Theatrical Release

November 23, 2019 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Rian Johnson

Martin Scorsese’s new film The Irishman is set to get a limited theatrical release, as well as a Netflix premiere on November 27. However, director Rian Johnson, whose own film Knives Out arrives on that date, thinks it should have had a wider release.

Here are highlights of an interview with Indiewire:

On seeing his movie in theaters: “This movie 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.”

On The Irishman only getting a limited release: “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.” Johnson has yet to work with Netflix, though he said he has taken meetings with the company in the past and saw the value in the company’s support for filmmakers. Netflix itself reportedly tried to release “The Irishman” more widely, but many of the country’s larger chains were unwilling to cooperate with any theatrical window shorter than the traditional chain. 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.”

On his new production company: “I’m very much in the mode where I write a movie and make it, then write the next one. The motivation behind this was to make stuff beyond that — to make a place where we’re not going to have a ton of stuff going at once. We’re not looking to build an empire or have a massive slate, but we’re going to pick a handful of projects in film and TV that we can really see through and enjoy the process.”

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Rian Johnson, Joseph Lee