The Big Picture
- Martin Scorsese plans to make a film about Jesus, inspired by a call to action by Pope Francis and his modern approach to the teachings of the Bible.
- The film will not be a straight narrative and may incorporate staged scenes, building on ideas explored in Scorsese’s previous religion-based film, Silence.
- Scorsese intends to appear in front of the camera as well as directing the project, adding a personal touch to his portrayal of Jesus.
Martin Scorsese will be very busy for the rest of the year as he prepares to launch his eagerly awaited new release, Killers of the Flower Moon. But that doesn’t mean that the storied director hasn’t got other plans in store for his next move, and he’s now expanding on an announcement he made earlier this year, when he revealed that he was writing a new film that would incorporate Jesus Christ into the story.
Back in May, the director travelled to Italy after he attended the Cannes Film Festival. While in the Vatican, Scorsese and his wife met with Pope Francis, where he revealed to the media and to the Pontiff himself that he was working on a screenplay which would involve the Son of God. Scorsese’s decision to write the film was based on a call to action by His Holiness to artists and creative forces, as per his modern approach to the teachings of the Bible, as he spoke publicly about the need for them to make their art because, only through an artistic voice can the purest way truths of humanity can be portrayed. Scorsese stated:
“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. And I’m about to start making it.”
Now, in a new profile about the director featured as the cover story on the October issue of Time, Scorsese has elaborated slightly on what the film might involve, and added that it was his intention to appear in front of the camera as well as directing the project.
“I don’t know what it’s going to be, exactly. I don’t know what you’d call it. It wouldn’t be a straight narrative,” Scorsese told Time magazine in a new interview, going on to suggest that the film would build on some of the ideas he explored in his 2016 movie Silence, which follows two Catholic missionaries in 17th Century Japan. “But there would be staged scenes. And I’d be in it.”
The Holy Trilogy
Silence was the second religion-based film helmed by Scorsese, following his work on the 1988 film The Last Temptation of Christ, which earned Scorsese his second nomination for Best Director at the Academy Awards. The controversial film, which starred Willem Dafoe as Jesus, was adapted from the contentions Nikos Kazantzakis novel, was considered blasphemous and caused great uproar at the time.
The film explores the life of Jesus Christ, with a particular focus on his inner struggles, doubts, and human temptations. Unlike traditional portrayals of Jesus in religious films, this movie presents a more humanised and psychologically complex depiction of the religious figure.
Scorsese’s next film, Killers of the Flower Moon, will be released on October 6th.