5 (Other) Scorsese Films That Deserve A TV Adaptation

With the news that Shutter Island is heading to HBO, we take a look at which other films from the Scorsese universe should make their way to the small screen.

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Martin Scorsese is no stranger to television work, but the news of a forthcoming Shutter Island prequel will be the first time his work has been directly adapted to the small screen.

As he did with Boardwalk Empire, Scorsese is lined up to direct the pilot episode of the HBO series, tentatively titled Ashecliffe (the name of the secure medical facility in the 2010 film).

According to Deadline, the series will focus on the goings-on at the hospital in the early 20th Century (the film is set in 1954, so expect the tone to remain, but the outfits/medical procedures/moral compasses to be period-specific). 

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While it seems unlikely at the moment that Leonardo DiCaprio will be making a cameo, fans of the film will be happy to know that Dennis Lehane will be on script duties. The author missed out on adapting his novel of the same name for the big-screen, so we should be expecting a fresh take on the source material.

While there’s no confirmed date for work to begin on the project, it’s sure to play a big part in HBO’s schedule with flagship shows such as Boardwalk Empire coming to an end. And who knows, if it's a success, maybe Marty will be persuaded to adapt more of his big screen hits to TV. With that vague possibility in mind, here's the four films we hope HBO starts eyeing up new.

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1 | The Departed

It’s been six years since The Wire ended and in that time we’ve been waiting for a truly great police drama to pick up where David Simon and Dominic West ended. The Departed, with its host of characters and numerous complexities, could be just what’s needed.


2 | Bringing Out The Dead

Not the first film that comes to mind when you hear the name Scorsese, but his 1999 noir starring Nicholas Cage as a New York ambulance driver is ripe for adaptation. If Cage was coaxed into returning to the character we could well see a Matthew McConaughey style renaissance.


3 | Goodfellas

It goes without saying that anything based on Scorsese’s biography of gangster Henry Hill would do big business. With a running time of 146 minutes and a whole roster of supporting characters, there’s plenty of material to draw from. Just don’t expect Joe Pesci to turn up. 


4 | Gangs Of New York

Not Scorsese’s most critically lauded film, but one rich for adaptation, though any actor cast would inevitably find themselves in the shadow of Daniel Day Lewis’ unforgettable portrayal of  Bill “The Butcher” Cutting.


5 | Cape Fear

Scorsese’s 1991 take on the film was already a remake of the 1962 original, and we’re keen to see what could be done with the premise some 23 years after Scorsese’s effort. Viggo Mortensen would be a shoe-in for DeNiro’s role as the crazed obsessive, and we know from Eastern Promises that he looks great covered in tattoos.


Let us know which films you'd like to see adapted in the comments


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