Martin Scorsese may follow his acclaimed crime epic about the killing of Native Americans in the US in the 1920s with another film about Jesus Christ, reports suggest.
Scorsese, fresh from a rapturous reception for his Killers of the Flower Moon at the Cannes film festival, is currently in Italy attending a series of religious and cinematic events.
Speaking at a conference at the Vatican on Saturday, Scorsese, 80, said: “I have responded to the Pope’s appeal to artists in the only way I know how: by imagining and writing a screenplay for a film about Jesus.”
He added: “And I’m about to start making it.”
Representatives for Scorsese told The Guardian they had no further information on the project other than that the director had already provided. Publicists for Mel Gibson recently rejected suggestions that he was about to shoot a sequel to The Passion of the Christ, his 2004 blockbusting depiction of the crucifixion.
Scorsese and his wife, Helen Morris, were in Rome attending a conference entitled The Global Aesthetics of the Catholic Imagination and briefly met Pope Francis.
Antonio Spadaro, editor of Jesuit publication La Civiltà Cattolica, who co-organised the conference, reported on its website that Scorsese had mixed references to his films with personal anecdotes, as well as explaining “how the Holy Father’s appeal ‘to let us see Jesus’ moved him”.
It is believed Scorsese reiterated his passion for Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St Matthew during the conference, as well as discussing his own works including 1988’s The Last Temptation of Christ as well as Silence, about the persecution of Jesuit Christians in 17th-century Japan.
In 2016, Scorsese screened the film in Rome and had a first meeting with Pope Francis, who himself joined the Jesuits in the hope of becoming a missionary in Japan.
The encounter marked a thawing in relations between the Vatican and perhaps cinema’s most mainstream Catholic director, who himself considered joining the priesthood as a boy.
In 1988, The Last Temptation of Christ angered many conservative Catholics for its depiction of Jesus (played by Willem Dafoe) as a man torn between God and earthly pleasures. The film included a dream sequence in which he has sex with Mary Magdalene.
Some cinemas refused to screen the film and other countries – including Pope Francis’s homeland of Argentina – banned it for years.
Scorsese, who spoke in Cannes of his unwillingness of play it artistically safe as his career enters a late stage, will appear at assorted film schools in Rome this week before he appears as a guest of honour at the Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna on Friday.
Title: Martin Scorsese to make another movie about Jesus, he announces after meeting Pope
Source: the Guardian
Date: May 29, 2023 at 08:21PM