Martin Scorsese, 80, announces new film about Jesus after meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican

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Martin Scorsese has announced a new project centered around Jesus after having a private audience with Pope Francis during a visit to the Vatican in Rome on Saturday.

The Academy Award winner, 80, whose latest film Killers Of The Flower Moon received a nine-minute standing ovation at Cannes, also spoke during a conference at the Vatican called The Global Aesthetics of the Catholic Imagination.

The Hollywood director, along with his wife of over twenty years, Helen Morris, had the chance to meet with the pope, who recently took a day off due to a fever amid health fears. 

Afterwards, the filmmaker sat down for a conference where he revealed plans to create a movie about Jesus, reported Variety. 

‘I have 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,’ he explained, adding, ‘And I’m about to start making it.’ 

Special meeting: Martin Scorsese, 80, has announced a new project centered around Jesus after having a private audience with Pope Francis, 86, during a visit to the Vatican in Rome on Saturday

Special meeting: Martin Scorsese, 80, has announced a new project centered around Jesus after having a private audience with Pope Francis, 86, during a visit to the Vatican in Rome on Saturday

During the conference, Martin opened up about his own film projects and expressed, ‘How the Holy Father’s appeal “to let us see Jesus” moved him.’ 

The star discussed his appreciation for the 1964 religious drama, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, which was directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. 

He also opened up about his own movie titled, The Last Temptation Of Christ, which was released in 1988 and starred Williem Dafoe as Jesus, Harvey Keitel as Judas, David Bowie as Pontius Pilate and also Barbara Hershey as Mary Magdalene. 

The premise follows, ‘The life of Jesus Christ, his journey through life as he faces the struggles all humans do, and his final temptation on the cross,’ according to an IMDB synopsis.   

Scorsese also directed the 2016 historical epic called, Silence, which followed the story of the ‘persecution of Jesuit Christians in 17-century Japan,’ per Variety and he also touched on, ‘the subsequent step in his research on the figure of Jesus.’

Silence, which cast stars such as Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, and Adam Driver, was also screened at the Vatican. 

At the time of the project’s release, Martin, who previously met Pope Francis in 2016 and 2018, talked to Antonio Spadaro, editor of the religious periodical called La Civiltà Cattolica, about the movie and his own religious beliefs. 

‘Well, I’m interested in how people perceive God, or, I should say, how they perceive the world of the intangible,’ he explained. 

Big announcement: Afterwards, the filmmaker sat down for a conference where he revealed plans to create a movie about Jesus, reported Variety; seen earlier this month in Cannes

Big announcement: Afterwards, the filmmaker sat down for a conference where he revealed plans to create a movie about Jesus, reported Variety; seen earlier this month in Cannes

Project about Jesus: 'I have 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,' he explained; both the pope and Martin seen in 2018

Project about Jesus: ‘I have 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,’ he explained; both the pope and Martin seen in 2018 

‘There are many pathways, and I think that the one you choose depends on what culture you’re a part of. My way has been, and is, Catholicism,’ he added, but later revealed that he was not a church goer. 

‘After many years of thinking about other things, dabbling here and there, I am most comfortable as a Catholic. I believe in the tenets of Catholicism. I’m not a doctor of the church. I’m not a theologian who could argue the Trinity. I’m certainly not interested in the politics of the institution.’ 

Martin continued, ‘But the idea of the Resurrection, the idea of the Incarnation, the powerful message of compassion and love — that’s the key.’ 

While additional details of his forthcoming religious film have yet to be revealed, the Goodfellas director has been keeping himself busy in Italy following the 76th Annual Cannes Film Festival, which officially ended on May 27. 

On Monday, May 29, the filmmaker is slated to visit the Casa del Cinema cinematheque in Rome where screenings of his movies will be shown, according to Variety. 

Moving: During the conference, Martin opened up about his own film projects and expressed, 'How the Holy Father’s appeal "to let us see Jesus" moved him'; the pope and Martin seen on Saturday; seen in 2018

Moving: During the conference, Martin opened up about his own film projects and expressed, ‘How the Holy Father’s appeal “to let us see Jesus” moved him’; the pope and Martin seen on Saturday; seen in 2018 

The following day on Tuesday, he is set to host a master class at the Centro Sperimentale film school, also located in Rome. Later on Friday, Martin will stop by the Cineteca di Bologna as a special guest. 

The renowned director recently celebrated the premiere of his latest Apple TV+ film, Killers Of The Flower Moon, which received a high amount of praise and critical acclaim since the screening at Cannes on May 20. 

The project is based on a 2017 nonfiction book titled, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, written by David Grann.

Some of the star-studded cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Brendan Fraser, Lily Gladstone, and also Jesse Plemons.

The premise follows, ‘Members of the Osage tribe in the United States are murdered under mysterious circumstances in the 1920s, sparking a major F.B.I. investigation involving J. Edgar Hoover,’ according to an IMDB synopsis. 

Success: After the screening of the Killers Of The Flower Moon at Cannes, the project garnered a whopping nine-minute standing ovation, reported Variety; seen earlier this month in Cannes

Success: After the screening of the Killers Of The Flower Moon at Cannes, the project garnered a whopping nine-minute standing ovation, reported Variety; seen earlier this month in Cannes

After the screening of the film at Cannes, the project garnered a whopping nine-minute standing ovation, reported Variety. 

The three and a half hour movie had a budget of $200 million, and notably premiered 45 minutes late at the festival. The movie was also Martin’s first film to screen at Cannes since his 1985 project, After Hours. 

The tardiness of the movie’s start did not deter the slew of positive raves, and already has a current score of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.  

After the premiere of Killers Of The Flower Moon at Cannes, the film is slated to release in theaters later this year on October 20. 



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