Killers of the Flower Moon‘s corpse isn’t even cold––can I continue torturing this metaphor? it’s a holiday and I shouldn’t even be working––but Martin Scorsese has already announced plans, seemingly imminent, for a new film. A lifelong Catholic meeting with the Pope can have that sort of effect. So it seems from a conference at the Vatican wherein the director claimed he’s “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,” with the notable incentive that he’s “about to start making it.” About? For an artist concerned there’s no more time, everything’s present-tense. [Variety]
Per Antonio Spadaro, editor of Jesuit publication La Civiltà Cattolica, Scorsese was moved (again: Catholic) by “the Holy Father’s appeal ‘to let us see Jesus.’ This is, well, not untraveled road for Scorsese, whose Last Temptation of Christ remains a definitive text about The Man Himself, and of course among the most incendiary––start here and try not feeling your stomach turn at the hatred, ignorance, and literal terrorist attack it spurred––but maybe not even the best: Christ shapes 2016’s Silence as structuring absence, seen only in a wonderful kind of literal-abstract at one key point. (In this same talk with Spadaro he called it “the subsequent step in his research on the figure of Jesus.”)
So what’s next? Hard to imagine Scorsese wanting to make another film about his life, which Last Temptation covers far more thoroughly than the reputation of its last stretch suggests, just as it’s plainly uncertain this film would even materialize from a director with seemingly boundless interests. But dictates from the Holy Father: that’s quite the commandment.
Watch Scorsese’s hour-long conversation with Fr. Antonio Spadaro SJ below, in which he revealed the first details about the project.