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Scorsese on Taxi Driver Remake Rumors, Shutter Island Stars on Much More

While Martin Scorsese was at the Berlin Film Festival promoting Shutter Island, Berlin and the Internet were abuzz with (highly implausible) rumors that Scorsese and Lars von Trier were planning a Taxi Driver remake with Robert De Niro. We caught up with Scorsese last night at an Armani event honoring the famed director and his muse, Leonardo DiCaprio, and the director denied any plans for a reboot. While he admitted that he and von Trier "have met," he says they "were talking, but not about Taxi Driver." Meanwhile, while Universal and Mandalay Pictures announced last year that Scorsese would direct a biopic of Frank Sinatra, DiCaprio wouldn’t reveal whether he would play Ol’ Blue Eyes, saying only “there are no plans to do that as of yet.”

Scorsese did tell us a bit about the movies he screened for his Shutter Island stars — DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley, and Patricia Clarkson — in order to prepare them for filming. He showed Titicut Follies (a 1967 documentary about patients in a Massachusetts hospital for the criminally insane), Let There Be Light (John Huston's documentary on shell-shocked World War II soldiers), and Laura — “so that Leo and Mark [Ruffalo] could see Dana Andrews as a war veteran. Beaten down, doesn't look anybody in the eye when he talks, doesn't trust anybody, and falls in love with a ghost.”

Ben Kingsley noted that the classics "helped us enormously with body language and showed us, particularly the girls in the film, Emily [Mortimer] and Patricia [Clarkson], how, in the fifties, male silhouettes and female silhouettes were very polarized. Girls were girls and guys were guys. Now we're not. We're much more androgynous.” (Addressing us directly, he added — “You're not, you look wonderfully feminine tonight.” Thank you, Sir Kingsley Ben!) For Patricia Clarkson, playing her character “was emotional and weird and odd and fun.” Oh? “Well, I can't give too much away about my character, but I have a very unusual part — I'm a woman in a cave.”

Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images