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Martin Scorsese Says He's Considering Making 'Silence' & Frank Sinatra Biopic In 3D

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by Kevin Jagernauth
January 2, 2012 11:12 AM
12 Comments
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Despite James Cameron's best intentions, for the most part, the 3D format has primarly been utilized as a cash grab by studios looking to pad out the bottom line in an era when box office receipts appear to be on the decline. However, 2011 marked a bit of a change. At the arthouse, Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders embraced 3D for their unique documentaries "Cave Of Forgotten Dreams" and "Pina" while Martin Scorsese brought true artistry to the format with "Hugo." One of the director's most visually dazzling efforts of his career, "Hugo" found Scorsese delivering a truly immersive 3D world, one that engaged the viewer without the need to make sure stuff is constantly flying at their face. And he may not yet be done working in three dimensions.

Last fall, during a presentation of "Hugo" followed by a Q&A with Paul Thomas Anderson, Scorsese said he viewed the format as another tool in his filmmaking arsenal, "I think ultimately with the right people behind 3D the way it is now, there are people working in 3D, and other filmmakers who are even more inventive with 3D, for me it’s just another element to tell a story.” So no surprise, as he gears up to shoot his next film, his long gestating passion project "Silence," he's once again thinking about 3D.

Variety recently asked the director if he was thinking three dimensions for "Silence" or his brewing Frank Sinatra biopic and he said, "Yes. I'm considering the possibility." Okay, not the most earth shattering revelation, but it does open up some potentially interesting visual avenues for the intimate period drama. The film is an adaptation of Shusaku Endo's novel, a drama about two 17th century Jesuit priests who face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and to spread the gospel of Christianity. There is still no word on a start date for the film that will reportedly star Daniel Day-Lewis, Benicio Del Toro and Gael Garcia Bernal, but we presume it will have to at least wait until the former is done working with Steven Spielberg on "Lincoln."

As for the Frank Sinatra biopic, that picture is still a long way off, as a new screenwriter is still being sought for the Scott Rudin produced film. But Ol' Blue Eyes in 3D is certainly an enticing proposition. Either way, 3D is here to stay, but as long as folks like Martin Scorsese keep finding inventive ways to breathe life into the format, there is still hope it can be a true narrative device and not just a way to pad out ticket prices.

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12 Comments

  • Ymus Anon | January 15, 2012 10:28 PMReply

    The long ago promising Scorsese continues to reel
    cluelessly from one routine retread to the next.

    MEANWHILE, as Globalism, TREASON and EUGENICS
    are now undeniably unfolding all around us --he and
    Hollywood continue to 'OVERLOOK' the -20th --30th
    --40th --50th and NOW 60th Anniversary of the
    awesomely relevant

    ---------------------KOREAN WAR-----------------------.

    WAY NOT GOOD

  • AJ | January 3, 2012 9:59 AMReply

    ..how much the fuck can you keep doing in the gangster genre?

  • Robert | January 11, 2012 12:43 AM

    What are you talking about? Nether Sinatra or Silence are gangster movies.

    Scorsese has made 3 crime movies, all of them were pretty different.

  • KitCon | January 2, 2012 9:22 PMReply

    There's no question Scorcese found a way to tap the potential of 3D to enhance the experience beyond the gimmicky shots but whether he shoots any of those dramas in 3D will probably rest on the added cost. At this point Hugo needs a minor miracle to be profitable. Neither Sinatra nor Silence sound like they have the potential to earn the blockbuster returns needed and DDL isn't a huge B.O. draw.

  • Helgi | January 2, 2012 5:28 PMReply

    3D is unnatural to the human eye and our sensibilities. It´s a tech thing. Most directors avoid it while some give in the the tempation and the pressure from the studios, because of higher ticket prices. The most recent 3D movie I saw was Spielberg´s Tintin, because Spielberg is someone I´ve followed for a long time and respect. Too bad the script was lousy. Maybe that´s why they made Tintin in 3D, an elaborate excuse for bad play. I still haven´t seen Hugo, but intend to. I hope Martin Scorsese is not giving into the popular pressure. 3D is a techincal show-off, just like the gimmicks in the 50´s when television threatened the movies. There is nothing to worry about. Just give us good movies. Then people will line up.

  • Christian | January 2, 2012 2:44 PMReply

    We still don't know which project will be his next film. I think it's a toss up between The Irishman, Silence and maybe The Snowman. Plus he is also developing a 1970s music drama at HBO known as The Long Play and he'll probably direct its pilot episode. I hope his next gig is The Irishman with De Niro, Pesci, Pacino and Keitel - it'd be the best gangster film of our generation.

  • Kyle Chase | January 2, 2012 2:10 PMReply

    In a recent interview with Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo on their podcast, Scorsese mentions that he is desperate to make 'Silence' next.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/kermode#playepisode5 (around 42 mins in). He also mentions the HBO series about Rock n' Roll he's developing with Mick Jagger

  • The Playlist | January 2, 2012 2:20 PM

    "Silence" was intended to be Scorsese's next picture and his publicists confirmed that to us earlier in the year. But things change obviously. More to the point the almost $175 million (heard it was closer to $200) "Hugo" might end up far in the red, meaning his passion project "Silence" may have to sit even further back on the backburner then he would like. The safe bet is returning to the gangster genre with DeNiro, Pesci and Pacino, but I honestly hope he doesn't do that anytime soon, personally.

  • punch drunk fool | January 2, 2012 1:20 PMReply

    Does anyone know if the PTA and Scorsese Q&A can be found online. Scorsese's a f*cking genius and PTA is one of my favorites behind Aronofsky and McQueen.

  • The Fool in Punch Drunk Fool | January 2, 2012 2:46 PM

    I second Punch Drunk Fool's question. 'Cmon Playlist, where you at!

  • brou | January 2, 2012 1:02 PMReply

    To me, Martin Scorsese was the only director of the new "3D wave" to use it as an artistic and narrative tool, so the more he works with 3D, the better.

  • MajorFilmFan | January 2, 2012 11:42 AMReply

    I'd see another Marty Scorsessee 3D movie. "Hugo" was AMAZING, and both projects sound intriguing. I'm curious to see how both would look in 3D, as neither seems to be the ideal project to put in 3D, but I feel Marty knows his craft, so we'll see.

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