Martin Scorsese has a lot of strong opinions about movies — beliefs that go against what is currently trendy and popular. Perhaps you’ve heard he’s not so into Marvel movies. So here’s another bold stance: If you spent Thanksgiving watching his new gangster epic The Irishman on Netflix and found it so long that you think it should have been a TV show — well, Marty thinks you’re wrong about that, too.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the legendary filmmaker spoke about whether he ever considered breaking up the film — which runs some 3.5 hours — into episodes, or even thought of draping it over two seasons.
“Absolutely no,” Scorsese said. “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. A series is great, it’s wonderful, you can develop character and plot lines and worlds are recreated. But this wasn’t right for that.”
The Irishman tells the story of Robert De Niro’s Frank Sheeran, a Philly-based union official who claimed that he had connections with the mafia and worked closely with Jimmy Hoffa (played by Al Pacino). The film spans decades — so much time, in fact, that much of the aging cast, also including Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel, were digitally de-aged (and then given old-age makeup towards picture’s end). Surely a number of viewers have had trouble carving out 209 straight minutes, or even finding good places to pause for bathroom breaks. Just don’t tell Marty Scorsese that.