Netflix spared no expense transforming Hollywood Boulevard into Generic Old-timey New York Avenue for the October 24 premiere of The Irishman. As captured by The Hollywood Reporter’s Kirsten Chuba, the streaming service went hog wild for its first Chinese Theatre premiere. The sidewalk outside the famed cinema — normally home to Jack Sparrows and Supermen of every shape and size — was decorated with a newsstand, a fake Italian restaurant, and even a Robert De Niro (indicating that this particular New York street is in Tribeca). The Irishman director Martin Scorsese recently decried Marvel movies as more like theme parks than cinema. Huge shade to the theme-park community, and also somewhat hypocritical since the fruit stand outside his film premiere is almost identical to the one on New York Street at Universal Studios Hollywood.
It’s this kind of lavish spending Scorsese was looking for by hooking up with Netflix. “We needed to make an expensive picture,” Scorsese told Variety. “The movie business is changing hour by hour — not necessarily for the better — and many of the places we would have gone to for funding in the past were no longer viable.” Auteurs need Netflix money if they’re going to compete with the tentpoles of the world, and what better way to fight franchises set in a fake New York than with a fake New York of your very own?