Martin Scorsese recently spoke to ET about his upcoming films The Wolf Of Wall Street and Sinatra. More specifically, he talked about the status of Sinatra and the themes that will surround his next film, The Wolf Of Wall Street.
First up, here’s what the director had to say about The Wolf Of Wall Street :
It looks like it’s time to do The Wolf of Wall Street, with Leo [DiCaprio]. We’re aiming to start later this summer. It’s such an exciting story. Even though it’s set in the early 90s, the attitude is there. The actions are the same. Our values are the same. It’s not like we had solid values until 1998 – the issue is that we were founded on certain values, and tried to maintain them. The film has more to do more with human nature and not guiding or inhibiting some people when nature gets away with them. As if to say, “Hold it, this is morally wrong because look at all these people suffering!” It’s a riotous story because of the humor and the madness and how these characters just run wild. You have to remember what the real drug is: money. [laughs] Money’s good, it’s just that thing of what you do once you have it all?
As for Sinatra, the project was announced a couple of years ago and since then nothing has really come of it. We heard late last year that a new writer was being brought in but since then news on the project has been rather non-existent, until now.
When asked about his biopic of Frank Sinatra and the current status of it, Scorsese spoke about the possibility of turning the story into a miniseries at HBO:
“I’m talking to one or two writers now. The problem is the biography. Where do you start? Hugo took up so much time that I now have to settle in. I met this writer who I think could do a lot with it, but [we] have to get a hold of the story. It’s too unwieldy. I’d love to tell the whole story, but the idea of art is to figure out where to start because we can’t tell his whole life story. If we told the whole story of Sinatra, it would be 15 hours – then you’ve got something like a miniseries, along the lines of Boardwalk Empire. I love the idea of a miniseries – particularly working with HBO because as long as you stay reasonably on budget, you have freedom which is very difficult to find in the cinematic marketplace. It’s something I find challenging and love trying at.”
As for casting, it was originally rumoured that Scorsese wanted Leonardo DiCaprio for the role but the studio, Universal, wanted Johnny Depp. There were even a couple people who were floating around George Clooney for the role. Despite all that, Scorsese has stated he may be taking the project in a different direction when it comes to casting:
“Leo’s always talked about doing it, but what if the story takes you in a completely different way? We could go for an unknown. Maybe the person who plays him isn’t important. Maybe it’s distracting to have a star in that role. Yet, you can’t have someone else sing! It’s got to be Sinatra’s voice. It’s tricky. It’s filled with problems – and whatever you do, there’s always going to be people who don’t like it, so you have to find something special. And I think I’ve found it. Now’s the time to execute it on the page.”
Personally, I would love to see Scorsese make Sinatra as a film or a miniseries, I’d be fine with either. The director does sound quite optimistic about it too so hopefully the ball will get rolling in the near future.
That being said, Scorsese has a ton of projects on his plate right now. He has been trying to make a movie called Silence for years and I think that will be the film that follows The Wolf Of Wall Street. There’s also The Irishman with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, which is another project that the director has been talking about for some time now. On top of all that, he also has The Snowman and an Elizabeth Taylor film titled Furious Love.
So while The Wolf Of Wall Street will be shooting next, there’s no telling when he’ll get around to the Sinatra biopic. When we hear more news though we’ll be sure to let you know.