A few weeks ago, Robert De Niro was speaking at the THiNK corporate summit in Goa. In passing, he noted that while he was off making films like Last Vegas, he appeared to have been replaced as Martin Scorsese’s go-to leading man by a younger rival. “Leonardo DiCaprio is a very serious young actor,” he said. “He takes it quite seriously. So although DiCaprio has taken my place in Marty’s movies, I’m apparently the go-to guy in handing out the hardware. I’ve gotten pretty good at giving out awards, but frankly, I’ve gotten out of practice accepting an award myself.” In passing, he vaguely mentioned that he and the director “have one project we want to do in the next couple of years.”
Today, at a London press conference for his film The Family, De Niro has provided some similarly vague additional detail about what Scorsese has planned. “I have another gangster film I’m gonna do with Scorsese, and it’s a very interesting one,” he said. “We’re preparing it. We have a script, and Marty has another film he’s doing before, so it won’t be for a while.” That other film is probably Silence, an adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s novel about a missionary in 17th-century Japan. The project was first announced in 2007, a pretty typical example of the amount of time it can take proposed Scorsese projects to come to fruition. Those hoping for the next Goodfellas may want to be very patient indeed.