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Scorsese Says He Never Even Considered Making 'The Irishman' a TV Series

The movie is unwieldy and long, but that's how it's meant to be.

by River Donaghey
Dec 1 2019, 2:20pm

image via Netflix

Martin Scorsese's latest movie, The Irishman, is finally out on Netflix, complete with a digitally de-aged DeNiro and his terrifyingly blue eyes, and, good lord, the thing is long. Scorsese films aren't exactly known for brevity—2016's Silence clocked in at two hours and forty minutes—but that's still an hour shorter than The Irishman. The unwieldy runtime has inspired people to start making recommendations about when to chop the thing up if you want to watch it in installments or even daring to suggest that, maybe, just maybe, the story might've been better told as a TV series instead of a three-and-a-half-hour movie for our collective viewing ease. But to all those naysayers, Scorsese has a very simple message: "Absolutely no."

Scorsese addressed the idea of an Irishman series in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly and he was, unsurprisingly, pretty adamant that the movie would only work as a movie. Per EW:

"You could say, 'This is a long story, you can play it out over two seasons'—I saw somebody mention that,” the director says. "Absolutely no. I’ve never even thought of it. Because the point of this picture is the accumulation of detail. It’s an accumulated cumulative effect by the end of the movie—which means you get to see from beginning to end [in one sitting] if you’re so inclined."

And, sure, that's all true, and given the massive cost of de-aging all those old stars, Netflix probably wouldn't have wanted to bankroll a few seasons of a show starring young DeNiro, anyway. But at three-and-a-half-hours, people will likely be picking away at The Irishman in hour-long chunks on Netflix whether Scorsese intended it that way.

"A series is great, it’s wonderful, you can develop character and plot lines and worlds are recreated," he continued. "But this wasn’t right for that."

In any case, we're probably lucky that Scorsese decided to make The Irishman a film, unwieldy length or no—we don't need another Vinyl. This one's for the best.

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Martin Scorsese
The Irishman