Martin Scorcese has never been afraid of movies with an extended runtime. Some might argue that is part of what makes his films so engrossing. The extended dive into the tales he tells. But few of his films have clocked under two and a half hours. And when then they do, it’s barely so. In the last 20 years, Gangs of New York was 168 minutes (2 hours and 28 minutes), The Aviator was 170 minutes (2 hours and 50 minutes), The Wolf of Wall Street was 180 minutes (3 hours), and Silence was 161 minutes (2 hours and 41 minutes).
So it’s no surprise to hear today, courtesy of The New York Film Festival revealing it, that the running time for Scorsese’s next film, the long-awaited and anticipated The Irishman, will be long 210 minutes (3 hours and 30 minutes). This will make the film Scorsese’s longest narrative film and the longest mainstream American narrative movie in more than two decades. While the length is subject to change (As the film won’t hit the festival until September 27th which allows for further editing), it’s possible that this is part of the reason the film struggled to get a wide release.
It was reported yesterday that the film will not receive one and only be in select theaters on November 1st before a worldwide release on Netflix on November 27th. Perhaps Netflix worried the film’s hefty length would keep the film from getting enough showtimes to make enough in theaters to justify the 90-day stay in theaters that massive theater chains require with films (For fear of their business being cannibalized). In any case, the film is still intensely anticipated by fans of Scorcese’s work (Especially given his return to the gangster genre).
The Irishman stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci.