Martin Scorsese has hinted that The Irishman could be his final film as a director.
The gangster film starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino is Scorsese’s first for Netflix and has been acclaimed as a classic.
But Scorsese says he is growing weary of the lack of cinemas showing anything other than blockbusters and superhero films. He added that, aged 77, he has other things he wants to do.
Speaking about the genesis of The Irishman, Scorsese told The Guardian: “Theatres have been commandeered by superhero films – you know, just people flying around and banging and crashing. Which is fine if you want to see it, it’s just that there’s no room for another kind of picture. I don’t know how many more I can make. Maybe this is it. The last one. So the idea was to at least get it made and maybe show it for one day at the NFT or The Cinematheque in Paris. I’m not kidding.”
As well as The Irishman, Scorsese was an executive producer on the Italian drama Happy As Lazarro, explaining his reluctance to get involved further. He said: “Happy As Lazarro, I’m ‘presenting’. I mean, I’m 77 and I’ve got things to do. Time is of the most value, right? I put my name on the line and say ‘Yes, I think you should see this picture.'”
Scorsese reiterated his frustration at the dominance of superhero films in cinemas. He has been caught up in a debate over their merits ever since first saying in October superhero films are “not cinema”.
Explaining his stance further, Scorsese said: “We are in a situation now where the theatres are only showing the latest superhero films. You have 12 screens – and 11 are the superhero film. You enjoy superhero films, fine, but you need 11 screens? It’s crazy for a picture like, you know, Lady Bird or The Souvenir.
“Those films may not necessarily be hugely commercial, but there are films that are modest and genuine and find a large audience. Just because a film is commercial doesn’t mean it can’t be art. What has consumed the theatres is product. A product is to be consumed and thrown away. Look at a commercial film like Singin’ In The Rain: you can watch it again and again. So the question is, how are we going to protect the art form?”