CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 21: Director Martin Scorsese attends the "Killers Of The Flower Moon" photocall at the 76th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 21, 2023 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Martin Scorsese teases new film about Jesus after meeting with the Pope

Martin Scorsese already has some ideas lined up for his next project: He could direct a Grateful Dead biopic starring Jonah Hill or collaborate again with Leonardo DiCaprio on another David Grann adaptation. But it seems the 80-year-old director is banking on another film about one of his favorite subjects: religion.

The author followed his trip to Cannes – where “Killers of the Flower Moon” premiered out of competition to rave reviews – with a tour of Italy, where he hosts screenings of many of his films and conducts a master class for students of the Experimental Cinema School Center.

He also made time to visit the Vatican for a conference titled “The Global Aesthetics of the Catholic Imagination,” which saw leading Catholic artists from around the world discuss ways to explore faith in their work. Variety reports that Scorsese also had a private audience with Pope Francis and announced his plan to make a new film about Jesus Christ at the event.

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“I 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,” Scorsese said at a press conference. “And I’m about to start doing that.”

Scorsese directed three films about religion – ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’, ‘Kundun’ and ‘Silence’ – and touched on issues of faith and spirituality in many other films. In a Interview 2017revealed that he once came close to making a film about the life of Jesus set in New York City.

“The popular representation of Jesus in the mind of the average viewer came out of Cecil B. DeMille. Virtually all films made on religious subjects were biblical epics. And the best, of course, was Pasolini’s ‘Gospel according to Matthew’,” he said. “My original idea dates back to the early 60s. I realized that you could start making 16mm black and white films, thanks to John Cassavetes who was making ‘Shadows’, and I dreamed of making a film one day. And immediately I thought of making a film about the Gospel, but set on the Lower East Side, in apartment buildings, in modern clothes. And the crucifixion would be on the West Side docks, and in black and white.