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Martin Scorsese Unsure He Can Recapture ‘The Irishman’ Spark for ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’

"I have to go back and find that spark. I don’t know if I can."

Martin Scorsese arrives at the 2020 AFI Awards at the Four Seasons on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Martin Scorsese

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Martin Scorsese was supposed to begin production on “Killers of the Flower Moon” with Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro in March, but the pandemic pushed the film’s start date by an entire year. With cameras now set to begin rolling in March 2021, Scorsese admits to Empire magazine that he’s struggling to recapture the same spark that made his previous effort, “The Irishman,” such a rewarding experience. And yes, the pandemic is partly to blame.

“I like that people appreciated it,” Scorsese told Empire while reflecting on “The Irishman” one year after its release. “I was very touched by that. This Covid, this pandemic, has stopped a creative process. I turned in on myself. Particularly the first couple of months, when we were locked in our houses, it eliminated a lot of distraction. I have to find a way to get back to a singular creative impulse for my new film the way I had for ‘Irishman.’ Cut away all the award ceremonies, all that stuff, and get back to being in a room alone with a project and wondering if I can do something again.”

“With ‘Irishman,’ we achieved what I wanted to do,” Scorsese continued. “Whether it’s great or good or not, I don’t know. I know I could watch it. What I mean is I have to go back and find that spark. I don’t know if I can. But the pandemic has made it almost obligatory to go and find it. Because everything else is gone, normal life is not there anymore. So what do you have? You have people you love, family, and you hope, a creative spark, and maybe that can be rekindled for a new film. But I keep going back to ‘Irishman.’ Thinking on ‘Irishman.’ I use ‘Irishman’ as…I used that experience as the lesson.”

“The Irishman” picked up 10 Oscars nominations earlier this year at the Academy Awards, including nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. Scorsese’s next effort, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” has the backing of Apple and a reported budget of $200 million. Clear here to read more about the film’s long-gestating production.

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