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

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by Oliver Lyttelton
November 28, 2011 9:02 AM
9 Comments
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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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9 Comments

  • Hary Thornhill | March 26, 2012 3:32 AMReply

    Re "The Irishman" by Scorsese:

    De Niro (4' 6" and 180lbs ) playing Frank Sheeran (6' 4" and 350lbs)...puleeze!!! Scorsese will need 4D to accomplish this transformation.

  • Oliver Lyttelton | March 26, 2012 6:49 AM

    I'm pretty sure that Robert De Niro isn't four foot six.

  • Jack | November 28, 2011 6:08 PMReply

    PLEASE MAKE THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

  • Davey | November 28, 2011 1:13 PMReply

    Sounds like it's between "The Snowman" (but is there a script yet? Probably not), "Silence," and "The Irishman." I'm rooting for "Silence," but I'm afraid that one's not going to happen just yet.

    Also, counting his documentary and his (feature-length) "Boardwalk Empire" pilot, Scorsese has directed 11 features in the past decade (not to mention a few shorts and his segment for "The Blues"). Pretty damn prolific by any measure, especially for the consistently high caliber of work he produces.

  • BEF | November 28, 2011 11:36 AMReply

    SILENCE with Bernal, Del Toro and Day-Lewis, please. It'd be nice to have a two film Scorcese break from DiCaprio. The story of Silence and that cast, just sounds amazing. I hope it's next.

  • Paul | November 28, 2011 10:43 AMReply

    The man knocks out a new film every 2 years. That's AMAZING!

    Anywho. I'd love to Silence then The Irishman. Don't really have any love for Sinatra...

    Only thing that upsets me is the idea of shooting everything in 3D. I do feel the 3D in Hugo was the best excuse for the gimmick yet BUT I greatly enjoyed the film more in 2D.

  • gonad | November 28, 2011 10:41 AMReply

    The Irishman sounds interesting. De Niro, Pacino, Pesci, what a combo, would be a sin to leave Frank Vincent out of the mix though.
    Sinatra - the way Scorsese described doing it like by switching between timelines sounded really cool, young Sinatra, older Sinatra then old Sinatra.
    Silence - didn't sound interesting to me until I read 'Marty' talk about in the Richard Schickel book, sounds like a real passion project.

  • brett | November 28, 2011 9:48 AMReply

    We're lucky to get a new Scorsese every two years. That's on par with most high-profile prolific directors (except of course Woody Allen - not sure how he writes and directs a new film EVERY YEAR going on 4 decades+)

    He could be like PT Anderson (it'll be 5 years since There Will Be Blood) or even worse, Malick (though we're getting lucky recently.)

  • Rovena | November 28, 2011 9:28 AMReply

    I wish Marty would direct more movies. He is attached to direct 11 movies but he has only directed 5 movies in the last decade.

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