Martin Scorsese Plans To Direct Documentary About Bill Clinton

Martin Scorsese might be 70, a time when a good many men decide to quit and rest on their laurels – and no one would blame him, now would they? Instead, though, Uncle Marty keeps on working at a breakneck speed. We have The Wolf of Wall Street coming up, that Sinatra biopic we keep hearing about, a Scandinavian thriller titled The Snowman and a reteaming with Robert DeNiro for I Heard You Paint Horses, not to mention several documentaries and a Garth Brooks concert movie. That makes me tired just thinking about it.

And if the above mentioned projects aren’t enough for you, today we learn that Scorsese will produce and direct a documentary about Bill Clinton for HBO.  The full press release says it best, so here we go:

NEW YORK, Dec. 17, 2012 – HBO and Martin Scorsese will partner for a documentary spotlighting William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, it was announced today by Richard Plepler, recently named CEO, HBO and Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming. Made with Clinton’s full cooperation, the film will explore his perspectives on history, politics, culture and the world, with Scorsese producing and directing, and Steve Bing producing.

“President Clinton is one of the most compelling figures of our time, whose world view and perspective, combined with his uncommon intelligence, make him a singular voice on the world stage,” said Plepler and Lombardo. “This documentary, under Marty’s gifted direction, creates a unique opportunity for the President to reflect on myriad issues that have consumed his attention and passion throughout both his Presidency and post-Presidency.”

“A towering figure who remains a major voice in world issues, President Clinton continues to shape the political dialogue both here and around the world,” observed Scorsese. “Through intimate conversations, I hope to provide greater insight into this transcendent figure.”

“I am pleased that legendary director Martin Scorsese and HBO have agreed to do this film,” said President Clinton. “I look forward to sharing my perspective on my years as President, and my work in the years since, with HBO’s audience.”

William Jefferson Clinton, the first Democratic president in six decades to be elected twice, served as 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001, leading the U.S. to one of the longest economic expansions in American history. After leaving the White House, he established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote healthier childhoods and protect the environment by fostering partnerships among governments, businesses, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and private citizens to turn good intentions into measurable results. To date, more than 2,100 Clinton Global Initiative commitments have improved the lives of 400 million people in 180 nations.

President Clinton was born Aug. 19, 1946, in Hope, Ark. He and his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, have a daughter, Chelsea, and live in Chappaqua, NY.

The Clinton documentary marks Martin Scorsese’s fourth collaboration with HBO, following the documentaries “Public Speaking” (2010) and the Emmy®-winning “George Harrison: Living in the Material World” (2011), and the hit series “Boardwalk Empire,” for which he serves as an executive producer, as well as winning an Emmy® for directing last year.

Wow. So there you have it. Martin Scorsese, HBO and Bill Clinton, all rolled into one.  The one thing that bothers me a bit is how very one-sided the press release seems to be. Clinton is still a problematic figure in American history, and hearing Scorsese refer to him as ‘transcendant’ is just a bit much. Still, I think it will be interesting to see what Marty comes out with.

No word yet on when shooting will begin, but it will certainly have to be once Martin Scorsese wraps post-production on The Wolf of Wall Street. Maybe he’ll direct it in between bites during lunch, since that’s the only time he appears to have free.

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