Martin Scorsese planning 'Taxi Driver' part two starring Robert De Niro

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Director teams up with De Niro once more for sequel to their 1976 film

More than four decades have passed since a lean and mean Robert De Niro played the pathological Vietnam veteran-turned-taxi-driver that earned him an Oscar nomination, but now it is being suggested that he may reprise the role.

Reports from the Berlin Film Festival state that De Niro and his director Martin Scorsese – long-time friends and collaborators – are readying themselves for a remake of Taxi Driver, the defining post-Vietnam war film of 1976. The project is said to be developing with the help of the arthouse Danish director Lars von Trier, whose film Antichrist, featuring genital mutilation and graphic rape, generated huge controversy last year. The idea is that De Niro would take the lead role, but it remains to be seen whether the film would be a remake or a sequel, and whether von Trier or Scorsese would sit in the director's chair.

De Niro, now 66, was half his current age when he took on the role of Travis Bickle, a softly spoken New Yorker who, it was suggested, is a Vietnam war veteran – he kept a charred Viet Cong flag in his apartment and had a large scar on his back.

The film begins with Travis as a lonely man living in Manhattan, occasionally writing to his parents to give them the false impression that he is living a fulfilling life as a government employee. He becomes a taxi driver in order to cope with his chronic insomnia, working 12-hour shifts by night, and visiting porn movie theatres by day. Increasingly isolated and unstable, he decides to clean up the streets of New York after he meets a 12-year-old prostitute played by Jodie Foster.

A scene in which De Niro is shown transformed from his former self into a muscle-bound, self-styled vigilante, brandishing automatic guns and having shaved his hair into a Mohawk while glaring at himself in the mirror and asking of his reflection "You talking to me?" is now the stuff of film legend.

As unlikely as the reprisal of this role may at first appear for an older and far less lean De Niro, he is an actor who is known to take on rigorous dietary and exercise regimes for the physical transformations he pulls off on-screen. He put on 60lbs for Raging Bull (also directed by Scorsese) and ground down his teeth for Cape Fear. In preparation for the filming of the 1976 Taxi Driver, he worked as a New York cab driver for three months, an exercise he may now feel he needs to repeat.

While the rumour of a modern version of Taxi Driver has rumbled since 2005, the Danish film magazine Ekko once again opened up the possibility this week. Von Trier's producing partner, Peter Aalbaek, neither confirmed nor denied the report, but he said an official announcement would soon be made, the magazine reported.

Speaking at the Berlin film festival, Scorsese, who won a Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for the 1976 film, admitted that they had plans to renew their collaboration, hinting at a return to the crime stories that forged their respective reputations.

"Bob De Niro and I are talking about something that has to do with that world. There's no doubt about that. We're working on something like that. But it's from the vantage point of older men looking back. None of this running around stuff," he said.

The rumours originally emerged in January 2005 when the idea of a sequel was mentioned by De Niro and Scorsese at a 25th anniversary screening of Raging Bull in New York. De Niro then spoke about a story in development about an older Travis Bickle.

Fuelling further speculation, the film's screenwriter, Paul Schrader, told the New York Post a few years ago: "I was talking with Martin Scorsese about doing a sequel to Taxi Driver, where [Bickle] is older."

De Niro has starred in eight films by Scorsese, largely as a mobster, beginning with Mean Streets in 1973 and continuing through to Casino in 1995.

The prospect of Scorsese revisiting the scene of, arguably, his greatest movie triumph is being discussed enthusiastically at Berlin. Yet he would not be the first director to revisit a work from his own film history. Alfred Hitchcock made The Man Who Knew Too Much twice, while Michael Haneke made two versions of his film Funny Games: one in his native German, and the other in English.

Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy

tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special

tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Transformers: Age of Extinction was the most searched for movie in the UK in 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Ronson has had two UK number two singles but never a number one...yet

Arts and Entertainment
Clara Amfo will take over from Jameela Jamil on 25 January

Arts and Entertainment
This is New England: Ken Cheeseman, Ann Dowd, Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins in Olive Kitteridge

The most magnificently miserable show on television in a long timeTV
Arts and Entertainment
Andrea Faustini looks triumphant after hearing he has not made it through to Sunday's live final

Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Shenaz Treasurywala
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
    Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

    Finally, a diet that works

    Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
    Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

    Say it with... lyrics

    The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
    Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

    The joys of 'thinkering'

    Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
    Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

    Monique Roffey interview

    The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
    DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
    Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

    How we met

    Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

    Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

    Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
    Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

    Who does your club need in the transfer window?

    Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
    The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015