If you need an example of where Hollywood is right now – of Hollywood’s timidity, of its insecurity, of Hollywood as an industry in the midst of an insurgency – you need look no further than the saga around the latest movie from Martin Scorsese.
It’s February of this year, and Scorsese, now 74, has just come off the back of his latest film, Silence, and was about to embark on his next. Silence had opened well, last November, yet it had not kept up the pace. From a budget of $40 million, it had recouped just $15m.
In some ways, this was hardly a shock. It was a long-gestating passion project. It was a meditation on faith. It was about two Jesuit priests, the relatively un-starry Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver, who travel to Japan to save their master. It was the film Scorsese had waited his life to make. And it was the best part of three hours long. It was a flop.
Still, in normal circumstances, this wasn’t too much of a problem. It was, after all, his first box-office failure for almost two decades. Not since 1999’s Bringing Out The Dead, starring Nicolas Cage, had he produced a dud. The rest were more than solid; some were spectacular. Gangs Of New York doubled its £100m budget, so did The Aviator. The Departed tripled its $90m budget, so did Shutter Island. It wasn’t Avengers money, but it wasn’t pocket change either.
Surely, you’d think, a filmmaker of Scorsese’s repute was allowed the odd slip-up every now and then? The deal for his next, The Irishman, had already been done, the i’s enthusiastically dotted and t’s excitedly crossed by Paramount in the wake of The Wolf Of Wall Street‘s success…Continue reading at GQ.com.
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