Apple TV+ signs first-look deal with Martin Scorsese

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Martin Scorsese is the latest star to land at Apple TV+, this time thanks to a deal with his Sikelia Productions.
Martin Scorsese is the latest star to land at Apple TV+.
Photo: Thomas Hawk/Flickr CC

The next Goodfellas or Taxi Driver might be an Apple Original. Cupertino signed Martin Scorcese’s Sikelia Productions to a first-look deal that will see him direct and produce films and TV shows for Apple TV+.

It’s the latest high-profile pact signed by Apple execs as they seek to corner the market on the world’s most talented visual creators. The company continues to hustle, buying big-name properties and signing directors, actors, producers and other top Hollywood talent to exclusive deals.

Apple previously signed multiyear deals with Ridley Scott, Leonardo DiCaprio, Alfonso Cuarón, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Idris Elba. Snagging Scorsese adds another top-shelf visual storyteller to the mix.

Apple’s strategy of snapping up star power reportedly paid off with Greyhound, the Tom Hanks World War II movie. Apple reportedly paid $70 million to rescue Greyhound from box office oblivion after the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered theaters.

The film premiered on Apple TV+ last month. It supposedly attracted enough new viewers to the struggling streaming service that it caused Apple execs to focus on acquiring high-profile movies.

Oscar-winner Scorsese certainly fits the bill. He started Sikelia Productions in 2003, and it’s been home to big films like 2019’s The Irishman, which nabbed multiple Oscar nominations for Netflix, and 2006’s The Departed, which won the Oscar for Best Picture.

Apple TV+ signs deal with Martin Scorsese

Apple’s multiyear pact with Scorsese, reported Tuesday by Deadline, kicks off with Killers of the Flower Moon. Cupertino won a bidding war for that film, which stars Scorsese stalwarts DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. If all goes as planned, it will debut in theaters prior to becoming an Apple TV+ exclusive. Of course, with COVID-19 seemingly intent on killing cinema, who knows exactly how the film’s release will play out.

Scorsese based the film on nonfiction book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by journalist David Grann. It involves the 1920s killings of wealthy Native Americans after the discovery of oil on their land.

This won’t be Scorsese’s first dance with Apple. Fans might remember the director’s star turn in a Siri ad back in 2012.