By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist May 15, 2012 at 11:59AM
A focus on professional procedure has always proved strong in Martin Scorsese's work, from Robert De Niro's arduous training in “Raging Bull” to Henry Hill's daily paranoia in “Goodfellas,” so it should come as no surprise that the master director has signed on to produce a story involving the creation of one of the world's most respected and revered car brands.
Variety reports that Scorsese has joined forces with Lord Richard Attenborough and television producer Anthony Haas to produce “Silver Ghost,” a drama that tracks the origins of Rolls-Royce at the turn of the century. Scorsese's Sikelia Prods. will work with Zuma Prods on the film, which revolves mainly around the relationship between founders Charles Rolls and Henry Royce.
The film is also described as “a complex love story, not only between men and women, but men and machines.” While the machine aspect is obvious, the other relationship the picture will probably tackle is Rolls-Royce collaborator's Lord Montagu of Beaulieu's affair with his secretary, Eleanor Thornton, which in turn spawned the signature Rolls-Royce hood ornament, “The Spirit of Ecstasy.” Thornton was chosen as model for the ornament, and since Beaulieu was torn between his family's wishes to marry another woman and Eleanor herself, it should add a nice romantic depth to the already-intriguing plot.
Scorsese sees that depth as well, and it was his initial discovery of the true events that led him to sign on. "When I read the story of 'Silver Ghost,' I was mesmerized," said Scorsese. "I immediately thought, 'This is a picture that has to be made.' And when I was asked to come aboard as a producer alongside Richard Attenborough and Anthony Haas, I didn't hesitate for a moment." While the man's enthusiasm clearly shows for the project, there is little to no chance of Scorsese actually coming on board to direct. He has “The Wolf of Wall Street” with Leo DiCaprio set to shoot next, and then a vast well of unrealized projects large enough to make Ridley Scott blush with envy. It would be a fine surprise if it did happen, but the talent behind “Silver Ghost” is substantial enough to bring in most anyone they please.