So far, for all the sequel mania that’s swept Hollywood, the films of Martin Scorsese remain untouched. Sure, you could perhaps argue that “Casino” is a follow-up to “Goodfellas,” in spirit rather than in content, but we’ve so far been spared “Cape Fear 2: Max Takes Manhattan,” “Kundun 2: The Quickening” or “New York New York: Tokyo Drift,” either from the director himself or from lesser helmers, even as we get follow-ups to everything from “Tron” to “Road House.”
But it looks as though our unbroken run is over, and someone’s had the giant balls to sequelize perhaps Scorsese’s greatest movie, no less. Moviehole report that casting is currently underway on “Raging Bull II,” a follow-up to the director’s biopic of boxer Jake LaMotta. Based on the book of the same name by LaMotta, Chris Anderson and Sharon McGehee, which examines both the early life and the events after those told in the Scorsese picture, the film is to be directed by Argentine-born helmer Martin Guigui, whose credits include “National Lampoon’s Cattle Call” and most recently, the Dennis Quaid thriller “Beneath The Darkness” (no, us neither). The film will, unsurprisingly, not see Robert De Niro return to his Oscar-nominated role, with veteran character actor William Forsythe taking over in his place (the actor having previously taken up De Niro’s part of Al Capone in the short-lived 1993 TV version of “The Untouchables“).
Now, nothing against Forsythe, a fine actor who’s given excellent performances in the likes of “Once Upon A Time In America” (alongside De Niro), “Raising Arizona” and “Palookaville,” but he’s stepping into some pretty big shoes, and for a filmmaker whose credits to date suggest that he’s not exactly the next Scorsese. This all seems redundant and ill-conceived at best, and a cynical cash-in at worst, and could very well be destined to skip theaters altogether.
Nevertheless, Guigui is plugging on, with a production eyed for June, and he’s currently casting for parts including the teenage version of Jake, his father Guiseppe, his childhood friend Ricky and his wife Sally, all of whom optimistically say STAR NAME ONLY next to their casting calls. Assuming this is actually really a thing, and not a late April Fool’s Day prank, “Raging Bull II” will see the light of day sometime in 2013.