Reading about Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio‘s latest reported project, The Wager, has totally bummed me out.
Based on David Grann’s novel and set in the 1740s, the synopsis of The Wager sounds like a cousin of Mutiny on the Bounty off the coast of South America, and ending with a trial under the authority of the British Admiralty.
Which is also how Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall’s 1932 novel ended, with a court martial of main protagonist Roger Byam over his possible complicity in mutiny against Capt. William Bligh.
One, who wants to see another Mutiny on the Bounty-type film? Peter Weir‘s Master and Commander, Ron Howard‘s In The Heart of The Sea…aren’t we all kind of sick of that bounding-main shit? Suggestion: Instead of The Wager, Marty should remake Peter Ustinov‘s Billy Budd (’62). Seriously — a great moral-quandary film. (Melvyn Douglas: “I look around and I sense…finality.”)
Two, I don’t like it when Scorsese makes films about the storied past (The Age of Innocence, Silence, Kundun, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Hugo). Shouldn’t he stick to movies about 20th Century criminals in the Northeastern region (New York, Philly, Boston), or at least about that general culture? How about a family drama set in Little Italy in the early 1960s — i.e., Mean Streets 2? Or one set in the present with Little Italy turned into a Disneyworld attraction?
Three, The Wager will cost at least $250 million to shoot, and will take forever to cut together. You know Marty — editing-wise he’s turning into Terrence Malick. And shooting a film on the high seas has always been a godawful headache each and every time. Who needs the grief?
Four, I hate to say this but Marty will turn 80 on 11.17.22. Does a guy his age really want to make something this demanding?
And five, what about Marty’s Grateful Dead movie with Jonah Hill?