Apple has snagged Hollywood legend Martin Scorsese to produce and direct content for its new streaming service, Apple TV+, as the battle for home viewers heats up, according to a new report.
Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions has signed a multiyear deal to give Apple a first look at its TV or film productions, according to a report by Hollywood website Deadline that didn’t reveal the financial terms.
The Oscar-winning director behind “Goodfellas” and “Taxi Driver” joins a buzzy roster of celebrities who have inked deals to produce content for the iPhone maker’s $4.99-a-month subscription streaming service, including Oprah Winfrey, Ridley Scott, Idris Elba, Alfonso Cuaron and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Apple launched its new streaming video service last fall as CEO Tim Cook seeks to diversify revenue away from gadgets. And the Silicon Valley company is competing for eyeballs at a time when a slew of new streaming services have jumped in the fray with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, including Disney’s news Disney+ and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max.
Scorsese — who most recently sold the rights “The Irishman,” starring Robert De Niro, to Netflix — will kick off the Apple deal with “Killers of the Flower Moon,” an Eric Roth-scripted adaptation of the David Grann non-fiction book starring De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, another Scorsese favorite.
The project, which has been held up by coronavirus-related production delays, is set to begin filming in February 2021.
Apple had announced in May that it would produce “Killers of the Flower Moon,” about a series of murders of wealthy Native Americans that took place in the early 1920’s, after nabbing the rights to film at auction for around $180 million. As part of the deal with Sikelia Productions, ViacomCBS’ Paramount Pictures will distribute the the movie in theaters before it finds its permanent home on AppleTV+.