Von Trier said to set challenge to Scorsese, De Niro

Berlin and the Internet have been abuzz with rumors of a Martin Scorsese-Robert De Niro-Lars Von Trier collaboration — and, at least for the time being, they appear to be true.

The idea behind the project is similar to the film “The Five Obstructions” that Von Trier and Danish helmer Jorgen Leth made in 2003. In that film, Von Trier challenged his colleague Leth to do a remake of his own 1967 film “The Perfect Human.” Von Trier gave Leth the task of remaking five times, each time with a different obstacle, such as making the film animated.

In the new project, Von Trier will challenge Scorsese and De Niro to remake their 1976 classic “Taxi Driver.”

The story took on a life of its own after a Danish newspaper published an interview in which Peter Aalbaeck Jensen, von Trier’s business partner and executive producer, said he could neither confirm nor deny the rumors.

“There will be a statement coming shortly,” he said — although another Danish source confirmed the collaboration.

Scorsese is in Berlin to tubthump his thriller “Shutter Island,” which unspooled Saturday night here, while von Trier drove down from Copenhagen to be a part of the pre-sales meetings of his forthcoming sci-fi film “Melancholia.” That film is to be shot within the next year, so the Scorsese collaboration would probably have to wait.

Over the weekend, when Scorsese was doing press in Berlin, he did not mention the Von Trier project, as discussion focused on features in pre-production, such as a 3D adaptation of Brian Selznick’s novel “The Invention of Hugo Cabret.”

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