The Guardian reported today on a new rumor emerging from the Berlin Film Festival which suggests that Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro may be considering a remake of Taxi Driver. Of course, The Guardian only includes one quote which does not mention Taxi Driver specifically. According to the paper Martin Scorsese was referring to “the crime stories” they had collaborated on many years ago when he said, “Bob (DeNiro) and I are talking about something that has to do with that world… There’s no doubt about that. We’re working on something like that. But it’s from the vantage point of older men looking back. None of this running around stuff.” Oh, and supposedly Lars von Trier (Antichrist, Breaking the Waves) might be involved in some way.
Two thoughts about this: First, that I love it when Martin Scorsese refers to arson, car bombs and murder as “running around stuff”. It sounds like a Monty Python sketch. Second, and most importantly, that Taxi Driver is never explicitly mentioned.
The Guardian’s source for this article, and indeed the only publication that seems confident of its facts, is the Danish magazine Ekko Film, which is in Danish, so I can’t read it. (If anyone can read it, let me know in the comments section below.) But then none of the other blogs, news sites or any other reputable media claim Ekko Film is saying much either (Empire Magazine also reports on the article, but unlike the Guardian does not even include the vague quote from Scorsese to back it up), although they all seem to agree that Ekko Film is pretty confident about it. About the only things we know for sure are that Martin Scorsese likes making crime movies, likes making movies with Robert DeNiro, and that Lars von Trier’s producing partner Peter Aalback will “neither confirm nor deny” the rumors, but will make an announcement soon.
So to quote “The Simpsons”: “I guess you could say that this barely qualifies as news.”
I get it, internet journalists, I really do. You need to jump on stories immediately in order to drum up web traffic. I’m doing the same thing, I suppose, except that I’m not trying to work anyone up into a tizzy about it. The story here is that there may or may not be a story later. You’ll get people upset that anyone, even the original filmmakers or an incredibly talented third-party, would consider remaking an American classic like Taxi Driver, and get lots of responses on your forums from people who disapprove of the idea. That’s great, but it’s just not news. Not yet. But hey, on the off-chance there’s an iota of truth to the thing, at least you’ll be able to say you were first… if you’re Ekko Film, that is.
If there’s any validity to this rumor then we’ll have a lot to say on the matter here at The Fourth Wall. Until then, don’t worry your pretty little heads about it. People talk about making movies a lot in the film industry. It’s kind of the point, really. That doesn’t mean it’s really going to happen until the cameras actually start rolling, and sometimes not even then (I’m looking at you Terry Gilliam… good luck with Don Quixote this time, because I think you’re going to need it).