We keep hearing that we are in a golden age of television, with audience engagement higher than ever and budgets to match. So, when news broke recently that Martin Scorsese’s The Departed was being lined up for a TV makeover, it made a lot of sense.
With the streaming giants snapping up the likes of Woody Allen and David Fincher to take on longform storytelling on the small screen it’s no surprise that studios are looking to their back catalogues for properties with a solid fanbase to reinvent and reboot for television.
The brutal crime thriller featured Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon providing a thrilling leading dynamic, supported by the likes of Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, and Vera Farmiga all giving memorable performances. It won the director an Oscar, and holds up incredibly well today.
It is a set up made for television. The log con, the fear of discovery and the complex duplicitous dealings provide a fecund foundation for ongoing storylines and social media friendly twists and turns, so important to keep audiences coming back each week.
Scorsese is, of course, no stranger to the small screen with the powerful
Doing the press rounds for Allied, producer Graham King updated us on the state of the TV series based on Scorsese’s 2006 film, itself a remake of the 2002 movie Infernal Affairs from directors Andrew Lau and Alan Mak. He revealed that Warner Bros. loved the idea of bringing The Departed to the small screen, and that it will move the action from Boston to Chicago.
He also confirmed that, rather than retell the story of the movie or continue on from those events, saying “it’s starting again and adding to [the movie]. It takes place in Chicago right now and it’s very an early development stage, so we’re still playing around with the characters and the script. But Warners thought it was a great idea that we give this a shot.”
He also talks about the current state of Film and Television, and about why many filmmakers are moving to TV to tell their stories. He said, “I think TV is overtaking Film…there are some subject matters that should be told in longform. Theatrical experiences can’t sustain a four hour movie. So, I think that if you’ve got a lot to say in a story, you’ve got a lot of different characters blending in, you can take your time and give the audience a lot more breathing room about each character…in a world like [The] Departed. We can really have some fun with it.
Watch the full interview segment with HeyUGuys’ Stefan Pape below.
Graham King updates on The Departed TV Show