HomeNewsMartin Scorsese Plans Film Based on Shusaku Endo's 'Life of Jesus'

Martin Scorsese Plans Film Based on Shusaku Endo’s ‘Life of Jesus’

@Photo by Jaap Buitendijk – © 2011 GK Films. All Rights Reserved.

Martin Scorsese plans to make a new film about Jesus that will be quite different from his controversial 1988 film The Last Temptation of Christ. According to an interview he gave to the Los Angeles Times, his new film will be based on A Life of Jesus, the 1973 novel written by Japanese author Shūsaku Endō.

Shooting for the 80-minute-long film is expected to begin later this year from a script written by Kent Jones. It will focus on the core teachings of Jesus “in a way that explores the principles but doesn’t proselytize,” said Scorsese.” The director added that “I’m trying to find a new way to make [these teachings] more accessible and take away the negative onus of what has been associated with organized religion.”

This is not the first time Scorsese has adapted a work by Endō for the screen; his 2016 film Silence, which starred Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver, was based on the eponymous novel that the Japanese author had written in 1966.

In his interview, Scorsese acknowledged the difficulty some people might have with the subject matter of his upcoming film. “Right now, ‘religion,’ you say that word and everyone is up in arms because it’s failed in so many ways,” he admitted. “But that doesn’t mean necessarily that the initial impulse was wrong. Let’s get back. Let’s just think about it. You may reject it. But it might make a difference in how you live your life — even in rejecting it. Don’t dismiss it offhand. That’s all I’m talking about. And I’m saying that as a person who’s going to be 81 in a couple of days. You know what I’m saying?”

Scorsese’s 1988 film The Last Temptation of Christ generated much controversy for its portrayal of Christ as experiencing sexual temptations. The movie was not based strictly on the gospel accounts, but rather on a historical novel by Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis that was adapted by Paul Schrader.

In October 2023, Scorsese told Sight and Sound that his new film would be neither a straight narrative nor a documentary but rather “a combination of things.” He added that he found Endō’s Life of Jesus to be interesting because it looks at Christ from a non-Western point of view.”

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Edward Moran
Edward Moranhttps://www.cinemadailyus.com
Edward Moran began his journalistic career many decades ago as a theater and cinema reviewer for Show Business and the New York Theater Review. More recently he contributed film reviews to hosokinema.com and Movie Sleuth. His writings have appeared in publications as diverse as the Times Literary Supplement, Publishers Weekly, the Paris Review, and the Massachusetts Review. Moran also edited a memoir by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Christine Choy. He served as literary advisor to her film Hyam Plutzik: American Poet, which was the keynote film in the American Perspectives series at the 2007 Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin.

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