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How 'Raging Bull' almost didn't happen


IANS New York
"Raging Bull", Martin Scorsese's iconic 1980 biographical sports drama film, almost didn't happen, the director has revealed.
At the Tribeca Film Festival, Scorsese and Robert De Niro came together to talk about their decades of work together, touching on the dynamics of their partnership, Scorsese's hesitance to take on certain projects and even another frequent collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio, reported
Scorsese said he was hesitant about and "overwhelme" by the boxing biopic from the start, as he didn't "understand boxing" and had to realise that it was really about the athlete himself, Jake LaMotta (played by De Niro), rather than the sport.
But that wasn't the only obstacle the movie faced in getting made.
Scorsese described a meeting with Irwin Winkler, one of the film's producers, in which they were joined by two studio executives. They questioned them about the film in what they thought was a normal check-in on their progress.
"I didn't (want) to make a film about this guy," Scorsese recalled one of the executives saying "This guy is a cockroach."
"And so your reaction was articulate and it was grand, in a sense," he went on to De Niro, adding: "You said, 'No he's not.'"
Scorsese later learned from Winkler's memoir that the executives were on their way to shut down the movie. But he and De Niro managed to convince them otherwise.

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First Published: Apr 29 2019 | 3:54 PM IST

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