Legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese is in early talks to direct the gritty George Washington biopic THE GENERAL from Red Granite Pictures. The script, which was acquired by Red Granite in 2012, comes from Assassin’s Creed writers Adam Cooper and Bill Collage. Red Granite’s Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland are producing.
The story centers around General George Washington, who must lead a dying army to fend off a band of brutal mercenaries during the Revolutionary War.
If he takes the job, Scorsese will be stepping in for Noah director Darren Aronofsky, who was previously attached to direct and produce through his Protozoa Pictures. Back in 2012, Aronofsky, who had a first-look deal with Paramount at the time, was expecting the studio to buy the project, which he described as “an Unforgiven-like tale” centered around Washington. Aronofsky has since fallen off the project.
Aside from his skills as a director, Scorsese makes sense as Aronofsky’s replacement, in part because he has a relationship with Red Granite from their collaboration on 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street. The film was a box office and critical success, scoring over $300 million internationally and drawing five Academy Award nominations. Scorsese also has a long-running first-look deal with Paramount – the same studio that’s been eyeing the project since 2012. Bringing Scorsese on board could be the push needed to get the studio to finally bite.
The General, however, isn’t the only project in the works about the first president. New Line Cinema and De Line Pictures picked up Michael Gunn’s hot spec The Virginian last year, with Bradley Cooper circling the role of Washington. That script focuses on the early life of the man who would become the nation’s first president.
The Goodfellas director has a full slate of projects in the works, including The Devil in the White City starring Leonardo Di Caprio, The Irishman with Robert Di Niro and Al Pacino, and The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. His period drama Silence, starring Adam Driver, is set to be released later this year.
Red Granite released last year’s Daddy’s Home with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, and are currently in development with the sequel.
Josh Lyons | Managing Editor