Scorsese May Direct Invention Story

Director eyes Hugo Cabret book

Scorsese May Direct Invention Story

by Willow Green |
Published on

Variety today reported that Warner Bros. and Graham King, frequent collaborators of Martin Scorsese, have bought the rights to bestselling children's novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick, with an eye to Scorsese directing. According to the trade paper "the heat generated by The Departed has put Martin Scorsese in high demand" - something that, presumably, three decades of accomplished movie making failed to do. Sheesh.

Anyway, the story of the book follows Hugo, an orphan who secretly lives in the walls of a Paris railway station in the aftermath of World War II. He keeps the station clocks wound, a job his caretaker uncle is too drunk to perform, and works on an old automaton (that's a primitive robot, fact fans) that his late father found, which in turn gets him involved with a toymaker, his daughter and a mystery.

The book mixes prose with sections that are more like a graphic novel, and even contains stills from classic turn-of-the-20th-century films like A Trip To the Moon by Georges, which should atttract Scorsese (probably the world's biggest film fan). John Logan, who also wrote the director's The Aviator script, will be writing the adaptation.

But will Scorsese get around to this? He may also be involved in The Departed's mooted sequels; he has been working on Silence, a story about 17th century Jesuits trying to preach Christianity in Japan, and he's been developing (with an eye to directing) Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal and Trial By Combat In Medieval France at Paramount.

But maybe there's hope for Hugo Cabret. After all, Scorsese has never done a film that's, y'know, for kids, and it might present the director (who has, after all, mastered every other genre going, even if Variety is right and studios are only just beginning to rate him because of his most recent Oscar nomination) with a fresh challenge. Certainly if he bags that little gold fella on Sunday night, he will have nothing left to prove, and can afford to take time out from crime dramas and historical epics to tell the simple tale of a boy and his robot in post-War France.

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