Martin Scorsese is making a(nother) film about Jesus Christ, and he intends it to be shorter than his last couple of movies.
We learned back in May of last year that Martin Scorsese intended to make another film about Jesus once he was finished with Killers Of The Flower Moon, his epic tale of love and betrayal that takes place in the heart of the Osage Nation during the 1920s.
Of course, Scorsese has tackled the topic of Jesus Christ before, in 1988’s The Last Temptation Of Christ, which reshaped some of the events laid out in the gospels depicting the life of Christ. Religion was also a key theme in his more recent movie, Silence.
What’s more, themes that are tangential to religion such as guilt, sin, forgiveness and redemption are never far from the surface in the filmmaker’s work. Still, Scorsese has stated that with this project that “I responded to the Pope’s appeal to artists the only way I know how: by imagining and writing a screenplay for a film about Jesus.”
This time around then, the subject matter looks to be up front and centre.
The director also revealed in an interview with The Los Angeles Times that the film is poised to be around 80 minutes long and doesn’t yet have a distributor. “I’m trying to find a new way to make it more accessible and take away the negative onus of what has been associated with organised religion”, he said.
Scorsese apparently co-penned the new project with writer and filmmaker Kent Jones. It’s adapted from Shūsaku Endō’s book A Life of Jesus. The same author wrote Silence, which Scorsese adapted for the screen in 2016.
The LA Times piece also adds that the film will feature a contemporary setting and centre on the principles of Jesus’ core teachings rather than focusing on a specific religious dogma. The reveal comes as part of a much wider-ranging profile which is well worth a read.
Scorsese also muses about his intent for the film and compares it to Kundun and The Last Temptation Of Christ, even Gangs Of New York, adding, “It’s finding my own way in a … if you want to say the term ‘religious’ sense, but I hate to use that language, because it’s misinterpreted often. But there’s basic fundamental beliefs that I have – or I’m trying to have – and I’m using these films to find it.”
We’ll bring you more news on this one as we hear it, including casting and a locked production date. It’s great to hear that Scorsese is planning a quick turnaround for this next project, meaning we might not have to wait four years between films as we did when waiting for Killers Of The Flower Moon, Scorsese’s follow-up to 2019’s The Irishman.