Rome: Martin Scorsese is on a post-Cannes tour of Italy where over the weekend, the director, known for having a religious bent, met Pope Francis and announced that he will make a film about Jesus, reports ‘Variety’.
Scorsese was till recently at the Cannes Film Festival, where his film with Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, “Killers of the Flower Moon”, received a long standing ovation after it was screened.
“I have responded to the Pope’s appeal to artistes in the only way I know how: by imagining and writing a screenplay for a film about Jesus,” Scorsese said on Saturday during a Rome conference at the Vatican, according to multiple reports quoted by ‘Variety’.
“And I’m about to start making it,” the director added, suggesting that this could be his next film.
Also on Saturday, before attending the conference — titled “The Global Aesthetics of the Catholic Imagination” –Scorsese and his wife Helen Morris met Pope Francis during a brief private audience at the Vatican.
The Jesuit publication “La Civilta Cattolica” and Georgetown University had organised the conference. Antonio Spadaro, the religious periodical’s editor, said on the publication’s website that during their conversation at the confabulations Scorsese alternated between references to his films and personal anecdotes and explained “How the Holy Father’s appeal ‘to let us see Jesus’ moved him”.
Scorsese, notes ‘Variety’, cited his admiration for Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “The Gospel According to St Matthew”. He also talked about the meaning of his own 1988 epic “The Last Temptation of Christ” and of “the subsequent step in his research on the figure of Jesus” represented by his smaller-scale 2016 drama “Silence” about the persecution of Jesuits in 17th-century Japan.
That film was screened in 2016 at the Vatican. Francis is the first Jesuit pope and is known to have joined the Jesuit order hoping to become a missionary in Japan.