Scorsese and DeNiro to remake Taxi Driver? With Von Trier?!


OK, there’s a good chance this may not be true. BUT, if we all cross our fingers really tightly then maybe – just maybe – it’ll happen. Reports from the Berlin Film Festival suggest that Martin Scorsese is considering a remake of his seminal picture Taxi Driver. Crazy, right? It gets crazier.

Copenhagen film magazine Ekko has allegedly reported that Scorsese is discussing a possible remake with – get this – Lars von Trier. Yes, that Lars von Trier. The only Lars von Trier. The lead role of Travis Bickle would once again be played by Robert DeNiro, now 66 years old.

So the key word here is allegedly. We’re yet to see anything from Ekko itself, nor do we have confirmation from either Scorsese, von Trier or DeNiro.

But this is not just some never-gonna-happen-Cher-set-to-play-Catwoman rumour. There are kernels of possibility here. Peter Aalbek, von Trier’s producing partner, was unwilling to confirm or deny the claim, but insisted that an official announcement would be made soon. Scorsese and von Trier are both at the Berlin Film Festival. Perhaps they are indeed working on a project together, whether it is Taxi Driver or something else.

Brendon Connolly over at Slashfilm has the right idea. He believes the film might be along the lines of Werner Herzog‘s remake of Abel Ferrara‘s Bad Lieutenant (which was barely a remake at all). Connolly also reminds us of the 2003 film The Five Obstructions, in which von Trier challenged his mentor Jørgen Leth to remake his short film The Perfect Human five times, each time under a specific condition (or obstruction) as selected by von Trier. As is his way, von Trier’s conditions become more and more outlandish. That kooky funster!

UPDATE: Variety now seem to confirm that the project will indeed be along the lines of The Five Obstructions, but still no official confirmation from either Scorsese or von Trier.

Here are a couple of potential projects then:

1) Scorsese directs a remake of Taxi Driver, under certain obstructions as selected by von Trier.
2) Scorsese produces a remake of Taxi Driver, directed by von Trier.
3) Scorsese directs a remake of Taxi Driver, starring the talking fox from Antichrist (voiced by DeNiro).

I want to see all three of these films right now.

I’m not exactly the biggest fan of remakes, but I certainly don’t believe they are altogether evil and inappropriate. There are many great remakes out there, and sometimes a remake can help explore issues and themes not raised in the original. If it was revealed that McG was directing a remake of Taxi Driver, I would probably be concerned.

But Scorsese and von Trier remaking Taxi Driver? I’m sold.

Of course, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We will hopefully be able to confirm or deny the validity of the report as soon as possible. In the meantime, Scorsese’s latest film, Shutter Island, hits cinemas this Thursday. As for von Trier, he is currently looking for a leading lady to terrorise in his upcoming thriller Melancholia.

Discuss: Didn’t they remake Taxi Driver last year? It was called Observe and Report.

2 Responses to “Scorsese and DeNiro to remake Taxi Driver? With Von Trier?!”

  1. Hey, if we're gonna get a remake of a movie like Taxi Driver then you may as well get the bravest, most fearless and most brilliant directors on the planet. And I actually think Von Trier is very much suited to a project such as this. I actually hope it happens.But, then, I hope Cher as Catwoman happens too…

  2. Yeah I've heard about this, some sort of challenge Lars has done before with another director and you know it won't be like a lame remake but an interesting project probably with great results

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