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During an interview with GQ, director Martin iScorsese revealed that Warner Bros. asked him to alter the ending of his film The Departed so that a sequel could be birthed.
WB allegedly wanted one of the two leads alive at the end.
“What they wanted was a franchise,” Scorsese said. “It wasn’t about a moral issue of a person living or dying.”
The Departed won Scorsese his first Best Director trophy. The 2006 film stars Matt Damon as a mole for the Irish mob and Leonardo DiCaprio as an undercover officer.
Both end up dead.
Audiences at the test screenings loved it, but the studio was “very sad, because they just didn’t want that movie. They wanted the franchise. Which means, I can’t work here any more.”
Scorsese went on to decry the Hollywood obsession with franchises.
“The danger there is what it’s doing to our culture, because there are going to be generations now that think movies are only those — that’s what movies are.”
He added, “We have to then fight back stronger. And it’s got to come from the grassroots level. It’s gotta come from the filmmakers themselves.” He encouraged other artists to “go reinvent. Don’t complain about it. But it’s true, because we’ve got to save cinema.”
He added, “I do think that the manufactured content isn’t really cinema.”