Oh yes, The Departed gang sure is busy today; not only is William Monahan re-teaming with Leonardo DiCaprio to remake another Hong Kong flick, but the Oscar-winning scribe is hopping back into the sack with Martin Scorsese. Now that Paramount has Scorsese locked into a four-year first-look deal, they sure as hell want some of that Oscar love too -- can you blame them? Studio has put Monahan to work rewriting The Long Play, a rock & roll epic which Scorsese will most likely direct (once he decides amongst the several other projects he currently has on his plate).
Pic, which was originally set up at Disney, is based off an idea from Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. When it didn't quite fit Disney's family-friendly mold -- and since Jagger just finished working with Scorsese on the director's Rolling Stones doc -- Paramount scooped it up, kept Jagger on as a producer and pulled in Scorsese. Story follows the 40-year career of two friends in the music business, from early R&B to contemporary hip-hop. (Not exactly sure why it's being called a "rock & roll epic" when the main focus is R&B and hip-hop, but we'll save that debate for another day.)
So, what does this do to all those Departed sequel rumors? Well, for the time being, I'd consider them squashed; Variety claims this will be Monahan's next script, though he also has the Confessions of Pain remake set up at Warners. Scorsese, on the other hand, has a number of projects circulating with his name attached as director. Apart from The Long Play, he also has The Last Duel (and a Theodore Roosevelt biopic?) set up at Paramount, as well as Silence and the kid's flick Hugo Cabret over at Warner Bros. Wouldn't it be cool if, at some point, Paramount and Warners threw down the gloves and just fought to the death, with the winner gaining the opportunity to make Scorsese's next film?