Scorsese Talks Sinatra, 3D And Low-Budget, Back-To-Basics Possibilities

Martin Scorsese is still promoting Shutter Island in various markets, which has led to a handful of big interviews that dive into the subject of various possible projects for the director. We know he's working on The Invention of Hugo Cabret now, and intends to make the Jesuit drama Silence (delayed some time ago in favor of Shutter Island) afterward. But what of his biopic of Frank Sinatra?

An interview with Shortlist covers a wide range of subjects, but kicks off with a brief conversation about Sinatra, Scorsese's proposed biopic about the musical icon. The interviewer asks Scorsese which of his previous films Sinatra might compare to, but unfortunately leads with two options, Goodfellas and The Aviator, which the filmmaker jumps on as an easy out.

I was hoping it would be a combination of the two. Yeah, because in structure I'd like it to be more like GoodFellas. But like The Aviator, it only deals with certain times in his life. We can't go through the greatest hits of Sinatra's life. We tried this already. Just can't do it. So the other way to go is to have three or four different Sinatras. Younger. Older. Middle-aged. Very old. You cut back and forth in time – and you do it through the music. See what I'm saying? So that's what we're trying for. It's very tricky [laughs].

More interesting is that Scorsese says he's "dying to do" two projects that could be described as "low-budget, down-and-dirty street movies." From the sound of it, the 30-day shoot for Boardwalk Empire's pilot is helping push him back to the realm of his roots.

I shot an HBO pilot, Boardwalk Empire...I did that, shot it in 30 days. For me, it's like a new lease on life. I'm trying to get myself to a point where I can work faster and cheaper.

That working 'faster and cheaper' could be a direct response to the pressures of filmmaking today. Elsewhere in the interview Scorsese talks about the fact that he is never free from the constraints of budgets and time. "You're always on the line," he says. "Fighting, fighting, fighting to get the film made that you want made. And if you go cheaper, you might have more of a stand. And that's what I'm hoping to do."

Finally, there's the 3D question. Scorsese has been enthusiastic about the possibility of 3D in recent interviews (very enthusiastic, at times) and a Variety article not long ago suggested that The Invention of Hugo Cabret would be his first foray into the format. (Makes sense, as it could be more of a family film than his other work.) But while he evidently remains optimistic about 3D, comments to Shortlist don't seem to indicate that he's working with 3D now.

"I would like to [make a 3D film]," Scorsese says. "I'm very excited by 3D...But if the camera move is going to be a 3D effect, it has to be for dramatic purposes – not just throwing spears at the audience. And that, maybe I can't do that. Maybe my daughter's generation – she's 10 now – can think that way."