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Martin Scorsese Suggests 'The Irishman' Could Be His Next Film, Confirms He Wants Leonardo DiCaprio To Play 'Sinatra'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com November 28, 2011 at 9:02AM

The film's not out of the woods just yet, but things are looking up for "Hugo." After a somewhat tepid initial reaction at the NYFF, the film's release last Wednesday was greeted with rave reviews, and the box-office, while not tremendous, was decent for a film playing on a third of the screens of its competition, and strong word of mouth suggest that it's likely to have legs through Christmas, particularly if the Oscars deliver nominations, as is suddenly looking more likely.
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Scorsese Irishman De Niro

The film's not out of the woods just yet, but things are looking up for "Hugo." After a somewhat tepid initial reaction at the NYFF, the film's release last Wednesday was greeted with rave reviews, and the box-office, while not tremendous, was decent for a film playing on a third of the screens of its competition, and strong word of mouth suggest that it's likely to have legs through Christmas, particularly if the Oscars deliver nominations, as is suddenly looking more likely.

With his latest film out there, talk inevitably turns to what Martin Scorsese's next picture might be, and a couple of candidates are now percolating. After reports linking him to the film a few weeks back, The Hollywood Reporter finally brought news that the great director had signed on to "The Snowman," Working Title's adaptation of Jo Nesbo's Norwegian serial killer thriller, which seemed a likely candidate. 

But in fact, that may not be his very next project. Scorsese tells MTV (via The Film Stage) that he hopes to shoot "The Irishman," his long-percolating mooted reteam with Robert De Niro, which may also involve Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel, "in the next year or so." The film, an adaptation of Charles Brandt's book "I Heard You Paint Houses," follows Frank Sheeran, a teamster who doubled as a organized crime hitman, and would feature a script by Steve Zaillian ("The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo").

Of course, this isn't the first we've heard of this one; Scorsese said this almost exactly at the same time last year, so there's no guarantee there'll be any more movement on the film this time around, particularly considering the tricky schedules of its leads. Still, we know there's no project on his slate we'd rather see him make except for maybe the missionary drama "Silence," which was could also shoot next year and he recently talked to Deadline about it. "It has to be done and now is the time to do it," he said.

Further down the line, Scorsese also confirmed to MTV that he's still hoping to make "Sinatra," his biopic of the legendary singer, at some point, and confirmed, as long expected, that he wants to cast frequent collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role. The director suggested that the film will see the star lip-sync to original recordings, rather than try to recreate the Chairman of the Board's distinctive voice, which probably makes sense. He's not opposed to making the film in 3D either (no really) and told Mike Flemming that ideally, he's love to make all his future films in 3D. "Quite honestly, I would [like to make all my films in 3D from now on]. I don’t think there’s a subject matter that can’t absorb 3D; that can’t tolerate the addition of depth as a storytelling technique."

However, "Sinatra" is still some way off; Scorsese suggests that the script, by Phil Alden Robinson ("Field of Dreams"), is going to be reworked completely in the new year, so we'd expect to see a new writer announced before too long. Either way, it's unlikely to leapfrog either "The Snowman" or "The Irishman" on his waiting list.

As you might imagine, Scorsese's been working the press circuit pretty hard in the run-up to the release of "Hugo." Alongside print interviews with USA Today, where the filmmaker discusses his early love for 3D, and Deadline, where he talks about how "Taxi Driver" might have worked in the format and the appeal of "Silence," the director has appeared on NPR, talked 3D with James Cameron at The Hollywood Reporter, and even cropped up on "The Daily Show." Watch the latter two below, and check out the NPR story here


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