2020 has taken a heavy toll on everyone's mental health. Between work getting shut down, constantly worrying about the global health emergency, and interminable bouts of self-isolation, few people are feeling at the top of their game, mentally or physically. Martin Scorsese, who was supposed to start filming his next movie before the lockdown postponed the shoot, admitted to Empire that he is no longer sure if he can get back to work with the same energy.
"I like that people appreciated [my previous movie The Irishman]. I was very touched by that. This [global health crisis] has stopped a creative process. I turned in on myself. Particularly the first couple of months, when we were locked in our houses, it eliminated a lot of distraction. I have to find a way to get back to a singular creative impulse for my new film the way I had for The Irishman. Cut away all the award ceremonies, all that stuff, and get back to being in a room alone with a project and wondering if I can do something again."
Scorsese's next movie is going to be with two of his long-time creative collaborators, Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, marking the first time the three have worked together on a project. The film is titled Killers of the Flower Moon, and it is based on the non-fiction book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, by American journalist David Grann.
Even before the lockdown hit, Scorsese's upcoming movie hit a number of roadblocks, the most prominent being that the traditional Hollywood studios were unwilling to finance the project at the filmmaker's estimated budget. Fortunately, Apple TV Plus rode in to the rescue, and the company was happy to sign the check for $200 million+ that the movie needed.
This is not the first time that the filmmaker has found streamers more accommodating regarding budget than traditional studios. Scorsese's previous movie, The Irishman, was only able to be greenlit after Netflix agreed to produce the film. Looking back on that experience, Scorsese is satisfied with the movie he managed to make.
"With The Irishman, we achieved what I wanted to do. Whether it's great or good or not, I don't know. I know I could watch it. What I mean is I have to go back and find that spark. I don't know if I can. But the [crisis] has made it almost obligatory to go and find it. Because everything else is gone, normal life is not there anymore. So what do you have? You have people you love, family, and you hope, a creative spark, and maybe that can be rekindled for a new film. But I keep going back to Irishman. Thinking on Irishman. I use The Irishman as... I used that experience as the lesson."
Hopefully, the iconic filmmaker will soon get his mojo back, and be in fighting shape again to make his next movie, eagerly anticipated by cinephiles who are waiting to see DiCaprio and De Niro acting opposite each other once again after 1993's This Boy's Life.
Read the full interview with Scorsese at Empire Online.