Ever since the award buzz kicked in, everyone seems to be talking about a sequel to The Departed. Some even say a trilogy is in the works. Considering the heavy body count, any follow-up should be a tough task. But don’t worry, screenwriter William Monahan has a plan.
I read the prequel and sequel to Infernal Affairs for the first time a couple of weeks ago and there wasn’t anything I could use in Boston situation, not now. The thing is, that world of The Departed is sort of an intensely personal literary construct. If you analyze what the commodity is now, it’s that literary construct. People are talking about a sequel, but the reality is that I could propose “Untitled Boston Crime Picture” and sell it for more than I’d get for a sequel. I’m not putting the screws to anybody, I’m stating a fact. The commodity has transformed. I’ll be writing about Boston as long as I live, but whether or not I do it in the form of a Departed sequel is up to other people. I’d honestly love to bring back Dignam, and I know how the picture would open. With The Departed Tango and snow falling on the Boston Common. I know every scene in the picture. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t. When I say that I couldn’t use Infernal Affairs 2 and 3 I’m not criticizing either film, I’m saying that “The Departed” now points in its own direction. Mak and Chong are brilliant filmmakers. I think that the give and take between American and Asian cinema is one of the great energizing cross-cultural relationships, like rock music getting to England in the fifties and coming back as the British invasion. Except both are the R&B record and both are the British invasion. If there were no Martin Scorsese or Michael Mann there probably never would have been an Infernal Affairs, so there’s a chicken and the egg situation to begin with. I’m in negotiations to do another adaptation of a Mak and Chong script, somewhere down the road. And I may do an original in Hong Kong. I love the way they make films, they just run them up and get them in the theaters. If one doesn’t work you do another one. There’s no over-thinking.
You can read the full interview with William Monahan at Collider.com.