The Two Martin Scorsese TV Projects That Are Going to Blow Your Mind

'Shutter Island: The TV Show'?? YES!

Shutter Island (Paramount Pictures).
Shutter Island (Paramount Pictures).

No more chit-chat, let’s just dive right in: now that Boardwalk Finale has ended, we’ve been dying for news of the next Terence Winter collaboration with director Martin Scorsese (whom he also paired with for Wolf of Wall Street). We’d heard awhile back that they were trying to pitch Bobby Cannavale (who won an Emmy for playing Gyp Rosetti in the 3rd season of Boardwalk) in a Mick Jagger-produced, hour-long series about the music industry in the ’70s. So now HBO is shooting this “Untitled Rock’N’Roll” project in New York City, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. The world continues to turn, people!

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But! But! What about Scorsese’s other television project? You know, the prequel to Shutter Island? YES. YES. THAT IS HAPPENING AS WELL.

According to this Hollywood Reporter article that I can’t believe I missed last week, HBO and Paramount are looking at cashing in on this Fargo trend of turning movies into TV mini-series:

Ashecliffe would take place at the isolated mental hospital depicted in the Leonardo DiCaprio starrer, with the potential TV series serving as a prequel to the movie and taking place before the events in the film. The drama would explore the hospital’s past and misdeeds by its founders — a la FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum.

Oh my god. Oh my god. Do you guys remember Shutter Island? It was the best worst movie of all time. If you have not seen I Am the Cheese: Leo Edition (spoiler alert?), please just go read A.O. Scott’s brilliant review of the film:

“Shutter Island” takes place off the coast of Massachusetts in 1954. I’m sorry, that should be OFF THE COAST OF MASSACHUSETTS! IN 1954! since every detail and incident in the movie, however minor, is subjected to frantic, almost demented (and not always unenjoyable) amplification. The wail of strangled cellos accompanies shots of the titular island, a sinister, rain-lashed outcropping that is home to a mental hospital for the CRIMINALLY INSANE! The color scheme is lurid, and the camera movements telegraph anxiety. Nothing is as it seems. Something TERRIBLE is afoot.

I really can’t overstate how excited I am for this to happen. You at LEAST remember that Shutter Island was the second movie (after The Departed) where Leo tried out that Baaaah-ston accent?


Nothing about Shutter Island makes sense in its third act reveal, and if you have three hours sometime, I can go over my frustrations with the film’s myriad of plot holes. But I am genuinely excited about a TV show version of it, especially if Scorsese is involved. If anything else, it should be campy as all hell. And despite the reference to American Horror Story in the article, I bet there will be tons of inadvertent rip-offs of Asylum, because you know Scorsese cannot be bothered with that hocus-pocus Glee show.

Anyway, I’ve got to take a breath here. It’s been a big day. In the meantime, here’s HBO’s press release for the much less exciting rock project, which also has Andrew Dice Clay, Ray Romano, Olivia Wilde and Max Casella.

Set in 1970s New York, the series will explore the drug- and sex-fueled music business as punk and disco were breaking out, all through the eyes of a record executive trying to resurrect his label and find the next new sound.

Martin Scorsese – Executive Producer/Pilot Director
Mick Jagger – Executive Producer
Terence Winter – Showrunner/Writer/Executive Producer
Rick Yorn – Executive Producer
Victoria Pearman – Executive Producer
Emma Tillinger Koskoff – Executive Producer
George Mastras – Writer/Executive Producer

Bobby Cannavale as Richie Finestra, the founder and president of a top-tier record label (American Century Records) with a great ear for discovering talent, who undergoes a crisis of character when confronted with a life-altering decision.

Olivia Wilde as Devon Finestra, Richie’s wife, a former actress/model who lived a Bohemian life in 1960s New York. Richie’s crisis causes strain on their family and propels her to re-immerse in her former lifestyle.

Ray Romano as Zak Yankovich, one of Richie’s partners, the tough and savvy Head of Promotions of American Century with decades of experience dating back to the dark, mob-infested days of the recording business.

Juno Temple as Jamie Vine, an ambitious assistant in the A&R Department of American Century. She uses her keen abilities to manipulate people and blend into the various subcultures of the New York music underground in order to break through the glass ceiling and get ahead at the record label.

Andrew “Dice” Clay as Frank “Buck” Rogers, the cocaine-fueled owner of a chain of radio stations.

Ato Essandoh as Lester Grimes, a former singer and ex-colleague of Richie Finestra.

Max Casella as Julius “Julie” Silver, nurturing yet with an explosive temper, and the Head of A&R of American Century, who struggles to stay hip and relevant in the young man’s game of the rock ‘n’ roll business.

The Two Martin Scorsese TV Projects That Are Going to Blow Your Mind