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Scorsese & Schrader Re-Teaming for "The Apostles and Apocrypha" Series


Director/screenwriter Paul Schrader is an old soul...and a loud one. Never afraid to state his opinions on the awards or the state of the industry, his hard-edged wit has afforded him a writing talent that is near unparalleled, particularly in his classic collaborations with director Martin Scorsese. And with a director who shares his penchant for raw storytelling, the results have been legendary with Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, and Bringing Out the Dead. And, more often than not, they also have been controversial in their subject matter and brashness of that subject matter. While that Bringing Out the Dead was back in 1999, they have kept in contact with each other and collaborated in less direct ways, such as confirmed in a new interview Schrader had with critic Richard Brody of The New Yorker.

In this new interview, Schrader confirmed that Scorsese helped give him advice from test screenings to figure out how to reshoot certain scenes for Schrader's newest directorial effort The Card Counter (starring Oscar Isaac as a gambler who joins forces with a young man to settle a score on a mutual enemy). In that same interview, he confirmed that him and Scorsese are set to work together more closely on his newest project which in fact will be his foray into working on a streaming service.

This confirmation of their new collaboration slipped in the midst of the interview that was primarily focused on Schrader’s thoughts on streaming giants in which Brody asked Schrader if he might ever come around to working on a streaming service. To which, he said that not only might he but that he already is working on one with Scorsese. Schrader had this to say:

“Yeah. Well, Scorsese and I are planning something, and it is . . . it would be a three-year series about the origins of Christianity...It’s based on the Apostles and on the Apocrypha. It’s called The Apostles and Apocrypha. Because people sort of know the New Testament, but nobody knows the Apocrypha. And back in the first century, there was no New Testament, there’s just these stories. And some were true, and some weren’t, and some were forgeries.”

Given the last time they did Christianity was The Last Temptation of Christ and that saw Jesus imagine himself in a physical relationship with Mary Magdalene, it's safe to say this new project won't be any fearless. In fact, when asked if the new series would be just as dramatized as that film, Schrader simply said, "Yes". Though that part is hardly surprising.

While he failed to say which streaming service the project would be on, it's a strong bet it will be Apple TV+ given Scorsese made a multi-year deal for film and television projects Scorsese will produce and direct for Apple TV+. Not to mention, Apple has shown in good faith their ability to embellish Scorsese's large budgets, as shown with his newest project Killers of the Flower Moon (See the announcement here) that Apple is producing with a reported $180 million budget. Safe to say, Scorsese and Schrader will use this prosperous deal to fully expand on the story they have in mind. Stay tuned!

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