Raging Bull prequel and sequel in one
Unbelievably Raging Bull II has started filming and from what I've been reading the film will be both a prequel and a sequel to the Raging Bull from Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro but not feature either of the two huge talents. One thing that apparently does remain is the source material from Jake LaMotta memoir but that's about all.
A new director, writer and talent appear and it will show the young LaMotta and the old, bookending the highly regarded film from Scorsese.
The director is Martin Guigui, whom you might have heard from his previous film Beneath the Darkness which starred Dennis Quaid, or perhaps not, and the writer of the screenplay is co-written by Guigui and Rustam Branaman. Between the two men the credits are somewhat uninspiring for a prequel/sequel to the classic Raging Bull which is largely why I haven't really mentioned the project before, however since its actually happening I can't disguise my surprise.
Neither it seems can Jake LaMotta whom I believe is working as a consultant on the film and from what I've read it appears he never thought they would get the project off the ground, but they have and the filming is underway according to The Guardian and Movies.com.
The plan is that the film will show what happened before and after Raging Bull. We'll see the young Jake LaMotta and the old. The young being played by newcomer Mojean Aria and the old played by William Forsythe. Along with these two are recognisable names such as Joe Mantegna, Paul Sorvino, the gorgeous Natasha Henstridge, Penelope Ann Miller, Ray Wise, Tom Sizemore, Alicia Witt, Bruce Davison and Harry Hamlin.
It's not entirely clear how much of the fighter's life will make it to the prequel/sequel film but considering they are bookending the original story in this way I would suggest that they are bringing his whole adult life to film.
LaMotta was the world middleweight champion from 1949 to 1951 and lost on a technical knockout to the great Sugar Ray Robinson. After his retirement he owned bars, became a stand-up comedian and was even in a small role in The Hustler.
It seems incredible that a film prequel and sequel to Raging Bull ever found the backing to go ahead especially considering the cast that are involved, but then in this current Hollywood climate it's all the rage, why not? At least they aren't remaking the classic and we're seeing that train steaming forward all the time.
Raging Bull II, will you really dare to see this prequel/sequel to such a cinematic classic as Raging Bull?