Martin Scorsese does not intend to take much time off after awards season promotional duties on Killers Of The Flower Moon and is planning to shoot his next film about the core teachings of Jesus later this year.
The indefatigable filmmaker told the Los Angeles Times in an interview published on Monday that he and filmmaker and critic Kent Jones have completed the screenplay for what he envisions will run to around 80 minutes – well under half the 206-minute run time of Flower Moon and 2019’s 209-minute-long The Irishman.
The upcoming project is based on the 1973 novel A Life Of Jesus by Shusaku Endo, the late Japanese Catholic author whose 1966 novel Silence Scorsese adapted into the 2016 drama starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, and Liam Neeson.
The story will take place mostly in the present day and will be framed in an accessible manner which explores Christ’s teachings without proselytising.
“Right now, ‘religion,’ you say that word and everyone is up in arms because it’s failed in so many ways,” Scorsese told the Times. “But that doesn’t mean necessarily that the initial impulse was wrong.
“Let’s get back. Let’s just think about it. You may reject it. But it might make a difference in how you live your life — even in rejecting it. Don’t dismiss it offhand. That’s all I’m talking about. And I’m saying that as a person who’s going to be 81 in a couple of days.”
There is no word yet about who will finance or distribute the film. Scorsese last explicitly explored faith and the life of Christ on screen in the 1988 feature The Last Temptation Of Christ starring Willem Dafoe in the lead.
Killers Of The Flower Moon earned seven Golden Globe nominations and won one for best dramatic actress Lily Gladstone at Sunday’s 81st annual awards show.
The epic crime drama about the murder of members of the oil-rich Osage nation in Oklahoma in the 1920s has been named film of the year this season by the New York Film Critics Circle and National Board Of Review, among others.
The Academy will announce its Oscar nominations on January 23.
This story originally appeared on our sister site Screen