Martin Scorsese is on a tour following the Cannes Film Festival presentation of his new film, Killers of the Flower Moon, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. Already in Italy, during the weekend the director, known for having his religious inclination, met with Pope Francis.
And he announced that he will make a film about Jesus.
"I have responded to the Pope's call to artists in the only way I know how: by imagining and writing a script for a film about Jesus," Scorsese announced during a conference in Rome at the Vatican, according to reports. "And I'm about to start making it," the director added, suggesting this could be his next film.
The Pope gave a private audience to the director of "The Last Temptation of Christ." Photo: Victor Sokolowicz
What is striking is that the director of Taxi Driver, The Wild Bull and The Infiltrators, for which he won the Oscar, already made a film with Jesus as the exclusive protagonist, which at the time caused astonishment to the Church: The Last Temptation of Christ. The 1988 film was not released commercially in Argentina, nor in many other countries. Scorsese was nominated for an Oscar as best director for the film.
Also on Saturday, before attending the conference, titled The Global Aesthetics of the Catholic Imagination, Scorsese and his wife Helen Morris met with Pope Francis during a brief private audience at the Vatican.
In "The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988), William Dafoe plays a doubting Jesus.
What Scorsese Said to the Pope
The conference was organized by the Jesuit publication La Civiltà Cattolica and Georgetown University. Antonio Spadaro, editor of the religious newspaper, said on that publication's website that during their conversation, Scorsese alternated between references to his films and personal anecdotes, explaining "how he was moved by the Holy Father's call 'for us to see Jesus,'" he said.
As for the cinematographic references, during the conversation Scorsese cited his admiration for The Gospel According to St. Matthew, by Pier Paolo Pasolini. And I wasn't going to let go of The Last Temptation of Christ...
Scorsese then spoke about the meaning of his own film, adapted from the novel of the same name by Nikos Kazantzakis, with Willem Dafoe as Christ, Barbara Hershey as Mary Magdalene and David Bowie as Pontius Pilate. And he also referred to "his research on the figure of Jesus" represented by his drama Silence (2016), about the persecution of Christian Jesuits in seventeenth-century Japan.
Scorsese giving directions to Andrew Garfield, who was one of the three Spider-Mans, on the set of "Silence," about Jesuit priests.
That film, starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Liam Neeson, was screened in 2016 at the Vatican. Francis is the first Jesuit pope and is known to have joined the Jesuit order in hopes of becoming a missionary in Japan.
(News in development)