Martin Scorsese and his Sikelia Productions company are joining forces with Apple for a first-look film and television deal.
A first look deal means that any new project that Martin Scorsese/Sikelia Productions comes up with, Apple gets the first opportunity to see and purchase the rights, if they pass, it can then be sold to any other company.
Nabbing one of the most celebrated directors in film history is certainly going to cement Apple TV+ as a major game player in the streaming wars. Martin Scorsese has been nominated for the Academy Award for best director nine times, winning the award for The Departed. His other iconic films include Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino, Gangs of New York, Hugo, The Aviator, The Wolf of Wall Street, and The Irishman.
Scorsese is currently working with the Apple TV+ on the film Killers of the Flower Moon, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. The adaptation of the novel Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by best selling author David Grann is expected to debut in 2021. The film has reportedly been given a whopping $200+ million budget.
This is a second major streaming feature for Scorsese, his previous is the multi-award nominated film The Irishman on Netflix.
The deal comes shortly after Apple announced they signed Leonardo DiCaprio and his Appian Way production company for another first-look deal. Stealing away these major names from other streamers is a really smart move to make Apple TV+ a success going forward. Appian Way has a production in the pipeline with National Geographic (owned by Disney) for The Right Stuff series to air on Disney+. Before they can work with these other screamers again, it has to go through Apple.
Other high-profile celebrities that have signed on with Apple include Oprah Winfrey, Alfonso Cuaron, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Justin Lin, Idris Elba, Kerry Ehrin (The Morning Show), Jason Katims, Lee Eisenberg and Sharon Horgan (Little America), Monica Beletsky, Alena Smith, and Simon Kinberg. Apple has deals with Ridley Scott’s three production companies, Scott Free Productions, A24, and Imagine Documentaries. It also has deals for children’s content with Sesame Workshop and Peanuts.