When Martin Scorsese signed with Netflix to make The Irishman, the star-studded epic scheduled to have its premiere on the opening night of the New York Film Festival next month, he put himself in the crossfire of the so-called streaming wars.

The film, which may represent Scorsese's grandest statement yet on the intersection of organised crime and American politics, is expected to be a strong contender in the 2020 Oscar race. He took his US$159 million movie, with Robert De Niro in the lead role, to Netflix after his home studio of recent years, Paramount Pictures, balked at the budget.

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