Bronx Bull trailer

Naming and perception can be everything. Say you’re making a boxing movie, and people might be interested. Tell everyone you’re making a film about Jake LaMotta, and there’s instant name recognition. Tell people it is called Raging Bull II, and that recognition turns to scorn. Another LaMotta film is well and good, but hitching it to Martin Scorsese’s heavy-hitter has another level of effect. And so the film originally conceived as Raging Bull II became The Bronx Bull. Now there’s a Bronx Bull trailer, so you can see what all the fuss was about. Read More »

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When it was revealed a movie called Raging Bull II was actually being made, most of us were just waiting for the lawsuit to happen. Then it did. The producers and owners of Martin Scorsese’s 1980 masterpiece Raging Bull sued the Martin Guigui-directed, William Forsythe-starring picture, which was endorsed by the film’s subject, boxer Jake LaMotta, and virtually no one else. The lawsuit ordered them to put a halt to production and never release any of the footage.

Now MGM, which owns the original film, has agreed to drop the lawsuit on the grounds that the film no longer be called Raging Bull II and that the film completely disassociates itself from the Scorsese picture. The new title is The Bronx Bull, and though it’s still the story of Jake LaMotta after the events in Raging Bull, it will not play up that angle. Read more after the jump. Read More »

You might have wondered how Jake LaMotta and producers have the right to make a film named Raging Bull II, when no participant in the original film, save LaMotta, is involved.

MGM started wondering the same thing, then checked back over the old contracts LaMotta signed with United Artists (now owned by MGM) when the first film was being produced. And then the studio filed a lawsuit calling for production on the prequel/sequel to halt, and for none of the footage to ever be released. Read More »

It’s probably unfair to judge Raging Bull II — which, yes, is really happening — based only on these two early production stills. But stacked up against Martin Scorsese’s original movie, which used a stark black and white aesthetic to brutal effect, these pics don’t have a lot of juice, and that doesn’t flatter the production.

But director Martin Guigui and co-writer Rustam Branaman are working from a book by Jake LaMotta, the subject of both the original film and the new sequel, and maybe they’ve got some angle that really makes this worthwhile. The film stars William Forsythe as the older Jake LaMotta, and Mojean Aria as the younger version of the boxer as the film is both a prequel and sequel to Scorsese’s movie. This shot and the one below suggest that this could be like so many other quickie sequels to classic films — earnest, misguided, and possibly forgettable — but we’ll see how that turns out when the film is finished. Read More »

‘Raging Bull II’ is Shooting Now

What can I say? This one is happening, just as we feared it would.

Martin Guigui (who?) is directing a hybrid prequel/sequel to Martin Scorsese‘s landmark 1980 boxing film Raging Bull. This one, Raging Bull II, was co-written by Guigui and Rustam Branaman, and stars William Forsythe as the older Jake LaMotta, and Mojean Aria playing the younger version of LaMotta for scenes that take place before Scorsese’s film. (Robert De Niro played LaMotta for Scorsese.) Read More »

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