Martin Scorsese goes corporate, Denis Villeneuve sees double, and Clive Owen returns to crime.
23 Mar 2012 - 4:25 PM  UPDATED 5 Nov 2012 - 8:30 PM

Martin Scorsese is returning to New York, albeit to a new neighbourhood. The revered filmmaker, whose last feature was the lavish 3D recreation of 1930s Paris for the children's/cineastes fantasy Hugo, will take on the city's financial hub. Scorsese will direct an adaptation, by Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire writer Terence Winter, of Jordan Belfort's memoir The Wolf of Wall Street, where the former stockbroker recounts the stock manipulation tactics he used to make (and spend) hundreds of millions of dollars in the 1990s, before his arrest and imprisonment in 1998.

Hubris and excess on Wall Street is a popular topic, and Belfort's disgraced brokerage firm, Stratton Oakmont, has already inspired one feature, Ben Younger's 2000 drama Boiler Room. Scorsese (pictured), who reportedly starts shooting in August, will up the stakes by bringing in his current leading man, Leonardo DiCaprio. The Wolf of Wall Street will be their fifth feature together (Scorsese previously did eight with Robert De Niro), and the partnership has increasingly served each of them well after the somewhat shaky start a decade ago with Gangs of New York.

Scorsese has been prominent in recent years, not only for his dramatic features but overseeing a handful of crucial music documentaries and his extensive work promoting film preservation as the celluloid era winds down and the digital one begins. He turns 70 in November, and he's seemingly increased his output since attaining his iconic status. He has two other films as possible 2013 projects: Silence is the story of two Jesuit priests who face persecution in 17th century Japan (one of the clergymen may be played by Daniel Day-Lewis), while Sinatra is a biopic of the legendary singer and actor that has long been talked about but has never secured the right candidate for the title role.

Canadian director Denis Villeneuve made his mark in 2010 with the powerful Incendies, a fearsomely calm meditation on the dangerous bonds of family and the limits of human endurance that turned the troubled modern history of Lebanon into a family's unending burden. It will be interesting to see how those filmmaking instincts fare on his next feature, a thriller entitled An Enemy, where a history teacher spots an exact double of himself, albeit a few years younger on a DVD and sets out to find the person. Incendies obviously has its admirers, as the lead role (or possibly roles) will be played by Jake Gyllenhaal.

Clive Owen needs to make amends for Killer Elite and the moustache he sported in it, and he appears to be starting with the 1970s crime thriller Blood Ties. The American-set film is the first English-language picture from French actor and now director Guillaume Canet (Tell No One), and it tells the story of a man (Billy Crudup) who must ask his ex-con older brother (Owen) to return to the underworld in order to help their family. The co-stars include Canet's much in demand wife, Marion Cotillard, as well as Mila Kunis, Zoe Saldana and James Caan. Just guessing, but the latter may be playing a criminal.