Director Martin Scorsese arrives at The Royal Premiere of his film Hugo at the Odeon Leicester Square cinema in London

What is Martin Scorsese’s Mystery HBO Project?

Well, I guess you could say that this Scorsese project is no longer a mystery, in part thanks to a bunch of pictures leaked from the project’s set, and in part thanks to some recent casting news, meaning we have a rough idea of what is coming our way very soon. Deadline have also somehow managed to find out the different characters’ names which will fill the project, leading many to confirm what they thought this Scorsese “mystery” might be. It’s supposed to be a 1970s’ “rock n roll” TV series that takes place in 1970s New York (as on set photos suggest, which were shown by the Daily Mail) and no doubt if there’s Scorsese behind the camera, then a Goodfellas/Mean Streets vibe might be present.

The show was given the green light by HBO back in the Summer of 2005, and has been given the working title “The Long Play” with the script penned by The Wolf of Wall Street, and Boardwalk empire lead writer, Terrence Winter, along with Breaking Bad writer George Mastras.

The plot is set in the seedy underbelly of the 1970s’ New York rock n roll scene. It explores the sex and drug fueled music business as disco and punk were breaking out. It will all be seen through the eyes of two friends over a period of 40 years, as they also witness the rise of R&B and hip-hop. The pilot will be directed by Martin Scorsese – then he will probably do the same thing he did with Boardwalk Empire, and will then sit back as producer while Mastras and Winter take the bull by the horns and make the decisions.

It seems though that the power of the talent behind the camera has ushered plenty of big names in front of it. The two leads are Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) who plays Zak Yankovich, the second of the two ‘friends.’ Yankovich is supposed to be a recording executive, who is head of promotions at American Century and is described as sharp witted and tough. He will also be the right hand man to the other lead, Richie Finestra, a record producer, who is the main character in the show and will be played by Bobby Canavale (Boardwalk Empire).

Martin Scorsese with Mick Jagger who will also be producing “The Long Play.”

Not a lot is known yet as to what the rest of the characters’ roles are in the plot, other than Olivia Wilde (Rush) will be play Cannavale’s wife Devon Finestra, Juno Temple (Maleficent) will play Jamie Vine, Max Casella (The Sopranos) will play Julie Silver, Andrew Dice Clay (Blue Jasmine) will play Frank ‘Buck’ Rogers, P.J. Bryne (The Wolf of Wall Street) will play Scott Levit, Ato Essandoh (Django Unchained) will play Lester Grimes, and finally a young Mick Jagger played by relatively unknown actor Kipp Stevens.

Of course, Scorsese would attract this kind of talent, and it is also evident that he likes to stick to people he has worked with before, as many names on the list have appeared in Scorsese’s recent projects, Boardwalk Empire and The Wolf of Wall Street.

Hopefully this show will take off like The Sopranos did on HBO. as we are going to be leaping into a familiar world that we haven’t seen much of in the form of a TV series before. It is also produced by Mick Jagger himself, so that will attract many music lovers who were fans of The Rolling Stones back ten or twenty years ago.

Another benefit of having Jagger as producer is that we can get a sense of authenticity to the series, as I’m sure he will share stories with the writers about his days in the band and his earlier years, which could lead on to some fascinating plot lines. Just like the lead writer did with Boardwalk Empire, Terrence Winter is a master at mixing fact and fiction for a realistic feeling TV series.

The “40 years” which was mentioned in the plot summary, means the shows runners must expect the series to carry on for at least six seasons to cover that much ground. Let’s just hope that “The Long Play” will deliver on what is has promised.

If you want a little dose of what it’s like working with Scorsese on the set of the show, check out what Olivia Wilde had to say about him on David Letterman’s late night show back in June this year.

Let me know below whether you are looking forward to this rock n roll, 70s’ drama, that will no doubt have many crime elements.



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