There is, of course, the legend that Martin Scorsese’s career nearly ended at Raging Bull: after the disappointments of New York, New York and attendant personal struggles, he (for at least some time) considered the boxing biopic––handled with a “kamikaze” mindset––a fine end of the road. That, of course, did not happen, but we’ve come closer to other retirements than most realize: in a great new GQ profile, Scorsese reveals the one-two punch of Gangs of New York (about which most know Weinstein-inflicted wounds) and The Aviator (on which Warner and Miramax cut funding, forcing him to perosnally spend $500,000) nearly made him give up. His next movie would nab Best Director and Best Picture Oscars and troubles were averted, but nobody predicted as much at the time.
At nearly 81 the speculation starts again––first with a pre-Cannes Killers of the Flower Moon interview in which Scorsese dwelled on age, then seemingly quelled by news of a couple films he had in development, but restarted by said GQ profile. As he told Zach Baron, with key parts highlighted:
“I got as far as this. And that’s what I do. That’s it. And if I could just muster up the energy, God willing, to make a couple more, one more maybe, and that’s it, okay? That’s as far as I got. You keep going until you can’t. But what I mean is that you gotta rip it out of your skull and your guts. To find out what the hell you really…what do you really feel should be said at this point in life by you? You gotta say something with a movie. Otherwise, what’s the point of making it? You’ve got to be saying something. […] How much longer can it be me? I’m gonna be 81. […] I don’t know! I’m gonna try until they pick me up off the floor. What can I tell you?”
Therein it’s also noted that his recently revealed adaptation of Marilynne Robinson’s Home was being developed with Todd Field and Kent Jones––the former to whom he expressed great admiration for Tár, the latter a longtime collaborator on documentaries and the Film Foundation––before the WGA strike. (You don’t need me to even share a link for a sense of where that’s gone in the last, oh, 16 hours.) That, quite literally, fits the bill for “one more.” “A couple more” could include his fascinating-sounding (second) Jesus film, for which the literal Pope’s directives might elevate “could” to “would.” We’ll see.
But as Teri Garr told Griffin Dunne in After Hours, “Lighten up! What is this? This doom and gloom?” Killers of the Flower Moon is less than a month from release, and with it tickets are now on-sale. With it’s come two new posters (one IMAX, one Dolby) and a behind-the-scenes featurette––nothing as substantive as 206 minutes of a film we believe is quite strong, but a satiation all the same.
Find them below: