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As a certifiable Scorsese fanboy, I’ve been waiting to hear what he had lined up after Hugo. Turns out his next film will be an adaptation of a Norwegian crime novel, The Snowman, by author Jo Nesbo. The story involves a hard-living, hard-drinking detective, Harry Hole, who hunts a serial killer who leaves a snowman in the yards of his next victim. Though Scorsese is no stranger to gritty crime films, it sounds like the film will be more David Fincher than Michael Mann. Given Scorsese’s recent predilection for genre-hopping, it comes as no surprise.

This announcement once again relegates Silence, the novel by Japanese author Shusaka Endo, to the backburner. The project was slated to be made after The Departed, but was set aside in favor of Shutter Island and Hugo. The story, which involves two Christian missionaries in Japan, seems right up Scorsese’s alley, and he’s been planning on adapting it for years, finally announcing his intentions in 2007. Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio del Toro were attached, but given the silence (sorry) surrounding the project, it’s a mystery whether they’re still on board.

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With Taxi Driver, Martin Scorsese took the story of a disturbed, violent man, and made it into a tragic masterpiece. What other character in American film could act in such violent and antisocial ways while showing such vulnerability and tenderness? Travis Bickle draws the audience’s sympathy because at heart, he is a lonely man who wants to make an emotional connection with somebody, and thrashes out at the world when he is unable to. In the words of Roger Ebert: “Many of us have felt as lonely as Travis has. Most of us are better at dealing with it.”

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