William Monahan Reveals His Idea For A 'Departed' Sequel & Says 'Gambler' Remake Will Change Setting

by Simon Dang
October 18, 2011 2:20 AM
5 Comments
  • |

U.S. Trailer For 'London Boulevard' Arrives; Also Says He'll Channel Frank Miller For 'Sin City 2'



Despite only five films next to his name, William Monahan is one of the most renowned writers in Hollywood. After taking home the Oscar for his screenplay for Martin Scorsese's "The Departed" half a decade a ago, Monahan now has his hands on more projects than you can shake a stick at. He recently spoke at length to Collider about his upcoming slate namely the long-gestating, much-talked-about sequel to Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez's "Sin City," which he recently came on board to rewrite.

"My job is essentially to be Frank Miller," Monahan explained. "I have to, as an improvisational actor, be Frank Miller while simultaneously being Monahan. It’s pretty cool because as a screenwriter, as a dramatist, what you’re doing all the time is inhabiting characters and improvising. In writing drama, there’s a great component of being an improvisational actor and there’s also a component of being an improvisational writer who can inhabit another personality and deliver something in the correct tone. Frank Miller is emphatically Frank Miller. That’s what I wanted to see in 'Sin City' and that’s what I want to see in 'Sin City 2.'" Let's just hope Monahan has never seen Miller's directorial debut, "The Spirit."

Monahan also talked about the notion of a sequel to Scorsese's Oscar-winning "The Departed," which has always caused conjecture due to the film's high body count. "My idea actually is to set the film before, during and after the action of the first film, which I think would be extraordinary... essentially, in the middle section of the thing I’ve intended, you’d see actions that take place during the original 'Departed,' but aren’t on screen in the original 'Departed.' There would be off-screen things that occur at that point in the story. But it would work seamlessly as a movie of its own."

Monahan remained realistic though, noting that he didn't know "if it’s ever going to happen. I know the film, I’ve got the film in my head. Even if everybody didn’t come back, which they could in the film as I’ve configured it, it would be a hell of a paycheck for somebody to write. The film would have to be absolutely superb."

Asked about the recently announced remake of "The Gambler," which is set to reunite him with Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, Monahan simply replied his inspiration for the remake was (like the original) "...Dostoyevsky. I’m going to reset it in a place that’s very interesting to me at present and dip a little bit back into the Dostoevsky original." And while many have complained -- including original writer James Toback -- about the very idea of remaking the movie, Monahan feels there is room for improvement.

"There are things like the Nazi-hunting angle which are obviously outdated by now," Monahan added. "I like the structure. I don’t think the picture is the Passion of St. Theresa, but I think it’s pretty good. If it was unsurpassable I wouldn’t touch it. It’s very '70s. There’s always a great hue and cry when you sign onto a 'remake,' and that’s always been sort of annoying me and freaking me out."

Disappointingly, no reference was made to Monahan's planned Viking movie starring DiCaprio that was to be helmed by Mel Gibson before all his drama happened. Coincidentally, the first U.S. trailer (which is pretty much like the U.K. trailer) for Monahan's directorial debut, "London Boulevard," has also just been unveiled (via FirstShowing). Despite the all-star cast (Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Ray Winstone), the film, which finished over a year ago, crawled through its U.K. theatrical run last year and will be released on November 11th through FilmDistrict. We probably wouldn't get our hopes up -- our review simply advised that that the film is "a road you don’t really want to find yourself going down."

You might also like:
Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

5 Comments

  • Jarrod | October 23, 2011 7:32 AMReply

    The Departed Sequel could totally happen. Here's why:

    The Departed is actually a remake of the Wu Jian Dao trilogy (Infernal Affairs). The first movie shows essentially the DiCaprio character (the UC) in the gang. The second film is a prequel. It shows how the UC rose in the ranks of the gang, and the relationship between the UC's handlers and the gang leader. The third film is the sequel that explains the downfall of the mole within special investigations. In the Departed, we know that he falls...but we don't know what led to it. We assume it was the psychiatrist that told Dignam. But we truly don't know.

    I can be trusted as my undergrad paper in college was on the Infernal Affairs trilogy and the evaluation of Chinese culture depicted in the films.

    Since The Departed has aspects of all 3 films in one, the holes can be filled in one film as well. I would completely welcome it.

  • Paul | October 18, 2011 12:33 PMReply

    Monahan's concept for a Departed sequel would be ingenious if that was not exactly how Infernal Affairs 2 & 3 progressed. Essentially, he'd do a remake of the sequels.

    Anywho, a Departed sequel with the whole cast & Scorsese returning is NEVER going to happen. Now, that goofy Dignam sequel with Mark Wahlberg directed by "Some Guy"- yeah, I can see that happening.

  • John Weggle | October 18, 2011 5:58 AMReply

    Eh? What Nazi-hunting angle is there in The Gambler? Don't remember that bit.

  • rodie | October 18, 2011 3:26 AMReply

    A sequel to the Departed could be very interesting (though Monahan's idea sounds too convoluted and tied to the original). Why not just pick up the story where the first one left off... as there's always someone there to try to pick up the pieces after the head mobster is killed. Bring in De Niro as the aforementioned senator or even better the corrupt FBI guy Nicholson was an informant for...bring back Farmiga and Wahlberg and add someone like Fassbender to the mix....

  • Mark Buffalo | October 18, 2011 2:29 AMReply

    A few years ago, they said a sequel to 'The Departed' would be centred on Mark
    Wahlberg's character, Dignam and Robert De Niro would potentially play a corrupted senator.

Email Updates