Veteran Hollywood director Martin Scorsese and his wife Helen Morris have reportedly met with Pope Francis to discuss his next film.
Scorsese was on a post-Cannes film festival tour of Italy with his family before attending the conference at the Vatican organized by Jesuit-led publication La Civiltà Cattolica and Georgetown University. This is in response to a recent call by the supreme pontiff for artists all over the world to “Let us see Jesus.”
According to several reports, Scorsese announced during a press conference,
“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!”
In addition to Scorsese’s stop in the Vatican, his Italian tour also consisted of several screenings of his own films, as well as artistic works that influenced his own work. These are to be presented as part of a master class for film school students at Rome’s Casa del Cinema cinematheque on Monday. He will also host an onstage conversation in Bologna as a guest of the Cineteca di Bologna on Friday.
Martin Scorsese’s most notable films include Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), The Departed (2006), Shutter Island (2010), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), the upcoming Killers of the Flower Moon (2023) and The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). The latter was known to have stirred furious reactions from several Christian communities due to the controversial subject matter. Though it appears in recent years, Scorsese has been exploring his religious roots. This has been especially evident in his film Silence (2016) – a beautiful and haunting film about Catholic missionary priests in Japan who endure persecution for their faith.
I, for one, was deeply moved by Silence. Based on the novel of the same name by Shūsaku Endō, it stars Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spiderman), Adam Driver (Star Wars sequel trilogy) and Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List, Star Wars: Episode I, Taken). The brutality of being persecuted for one’s faith is depicted in such a way that appears senselessly foreign in comparison to typical modern apprehension towards Christianity. It also raises questions of how much one would be willing to suffer (or allow others to suffer) for the sake of following Christ. The film was also given a screening at the Vatican when it was released.
There is currently no confirmation of details nor release date on Scorsese’s proposed film. Though it is interesting to see how explorative of Christianity he has become as a director and decided to heed the Pope’s call to reveal Christ though artistic expression. With this in mind, I look forward to seeing where he takes his next film endeavour with great anticipation.
With so many films about Jesus Christ throughout the years, what attributes of Him would you like to see on screen that has yet to be explored? Share your thoughts in the comments!