Martin Scorsese, one of the most beloved and prolific American directors in cinema history and a champion of film preservation, may only have a couple more films left in his oeuvre.
During a Q&A at the Marrakech Film Festival, a journalist asked Scorsese what future projects he desires to make. The filmmaker responded with the following:
“Desire? Yes, I have the desire to make many films, but as of now I’m 71 and there’s only a couple more left if I get to make them. I miss the time when I had the desire to experiment and try different kinds of films, I miss that time, but that’s done, it’s over. There is obligation as you get older, you have family. I’ve been very lucky in the last 10 years or so, to have found projects that combine the desire, the subject matter—from The Aviator to now—with, as best I can, fulfilling the obligation to my family and the financiers.”
Scorsese also revealed that working with Leonardo DiCaprio – on five films, from Gangs of New York onward – kept him invigorated to make more movies.
“He regenerated my enthusiasm for making films,” Scorsese said. “Mainly because, as you get older, it gets physically difficult and also the business especially – the financial issues. You’re responsible for a lot of money, if you get it. It’s all pressure, but can you do it? His enthusiasm and excitement really kept me going.”
Realistically, it would be hard for any director to keep making films at the same rate once passed retirement age. However, since turning 65, Scorsese has made three features (Shutter Island, Hugo, the upcoming The Wolf of Wall Street), four documentaries (including Shine a Light and George Harrison: Living in the Material World) and the terrific pilot episode for Boardwalk Empire. Even if Scorsese worked at half the pace as regular, we should still expect a few classics by the time he finally retires for good.
The director is currently working on an untitled Bill Clinton documentary, and is in pre-production for his long-in-development drama Silence. Meanwhile, a biopic on Frank Sinatra is not far on the horizon for the Oscar-winning filmmaker. If anything, one can hope that before the end of his career, Scorsese will re-unite with Robert de Niro for one last hurrah. With this news in mind, fans of the director should make sure to savour every minute of his three-hour The Wolf of Wall Street, which comes out on Christmas Day.