On top of reports that a new film is in the works that would reunite director Martin Scorsese with actor Robert De Niro, some buzz has been floating around this year’s Berlin Film Festival about a project that is “Travis Bickle bonkers” – a remake of Scorsese’s classic Taxi Driver.
This would not work like any regular remake, however. It’s based off an idea devised by Antichrist writer/director Lars von Trier. In 2003, von Trier got Danish director Jorgan Leth to remake his film from 1967 entitled The Perfect Human for a production called The Five Obstructions. In that film, von Trier challenged Leth to remake the film five times, and each round had “a different obstacle.” One method for that film was to make parts of it animated.
A Taxi Driver remake would work along the same lines, and Robert De Niro would reprise the classic role of crazy chauffeur Travis Bickle.
At the moment this has not been verified by Scorsese, De Niro, or even von Trier. Much of the rumors started when a Danish newspaper interviewed von Trier’s business partner and executive producer Peter Aalbaeck Jensen. Variety reports that he could neither “confirm or deny” the rumors, and that he just said “there will be a statement coming shortly.” Another Danish news source is said to have confirmed the project’s existence.
If this film were to be confirmed, it would have to wait at least a year before picking up steam. Lars von Trier is working on the children’s comedy Melancholia (just kidding) and Scorsese is busy prepping the 3D film The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
Even if the trio isn’t able to follow through, this is a fascinating idea. What classic (and supposedly untouchable) film would you like to see remade, von Trier style? In a dream world, I would love to see the selected forces try this with something like David Lynch’s Eraserhead or even Fargo by the Coen Brothers. It would be very intriguing to watch directors re-tackle some of their most popular work.