Long-awaited Apple Martin Scorsese film has a release date — for theaters, that is. The company has revealed This The Moonflower Slayers will get a wide theatrical release on October 20 after a “limited” run from October 6. The company hasn’t said when the film will be available to Apple TV+ users, but the streaming launch will come after the cinema exclusivity period ends. It is the first film from Apple to debut on the big screen before being released online.
The Moonflower Slayers is an adaptation of the book of the same name by David Grann. It covers the FBI’s fledgling investigation into the murders of members of the Osage Nation in the early 1920s after the tribe obtained rights to oil profits on its land. Scorsese directed the film and co-wrote it alongside Eric Roth (of Dunes And Lack fame). The cast includes more than a few big-name stars and Scorsese favorites, including Robert DeNiro, Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone.
Scorsese entered into a multi-year deal with Apple in the spring of 2020 that covered both film and television projects. Although the exact terms are unclear, Killers would have a budget exceeding $180 million. The pact came just months after Netflix’s Scorsese movie, The Irishmanreceived a massive audience but didn’t win an Oscar.
The strategy of releasing a film theatrically first is not new. Industry awards like the Oscars often require movies to hit theaters before they qualify, and it’s no secret that streaming giants like Apple, Amazon and Netflix chasing those rewards for the publicity they bring. Apples CODA was the first streamer to win an Oscar for best picture, For example. The scope of this premiere is new for Apple, however, and the company is clearly willing to spend on top talent to potentially land statuettes and bolster its credibility in Hollywood.
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