Martin Scorsese: Why I Nearly Quit Hollywood After “Gangs of New York”

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Martin Scorsese, the celebrated filmmaker, has recently revealed the challenges he faced while making two of his most iconic movies due to constraints imposed by former producer Harvey Weinstein. In a cover story interview with GQ, Scorsese shared his frustration with Weinstein’s control over the budgets and runtimes of his films.

Scorsese recalled his experience making the 2002 film “Gangs of New York” with Weinstein’s company, Miramax. He expressed his discomfort with Weinstein’s interference in the movie’s production, saying, “I realized that I couldn’t work if I had to make films that way ever again.” According to Scorsese, Weinstein attempted to exert excessive control over the budget and runtime, making the filmmaking process challenging and unsatisfying. He even contemplated quitting if he had to continue working under such conditions, stating, “I’d have to stop because the results weren’t satisfying. It was at times extremely difficult, and I wouldn’t survive it. I’d be dead. And so I decided it was over, really.”

Unfortunately, Scorsese’s next project, the 2004 film “The Aviator,” faced similar issues as Miramax co-distributed it alongside Warner Bros. Pictures. Scorsese recalled being forced into this situation, despite his reservations. He revealed that toward the end of the film’s production, both Miramax and Warner Bros. stopped funding the movie. In response, Scorsese used $500,000 of his own money to complete the film.

In his latest project, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Scorsese reunites with frequent collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio for their sixth film together. The movie also marks Scorsese’s 11th collaboration with Robert De Niro. “Killers of the Flower Moon” is based on David Grann’s bestselling book, “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI.” The film tells the story of Ernest Burkhart, played by DiCaprio, who moves to Oklahoma in the 1920s and marries a local Osage Nation woman amid a series of murders targeting the indigenous population.

“Killers of the Flower Moon” is set to be released in theaters on October 20, followed by streaming on Apple TV+. Despite the challenges faced during the production of his earlier films, Scorsese’s commitment to filmmaking and storytelling remains unwavering.

Image credits; Wikimedia


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