Since at least 2006, a group of producers has been asking America whether it’s ready to see a follow-up to Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull with neither Scorsese nor Robert De Niro, to which America has mostly replied, “Where do you get your balls big enough to ask me that?” But such aggressive, Joe Pesci-like squeals of resistance aside, we never got it down, Ray, so the project has remained an off-and-on lingering threat—and if Moviehole is to be believed, Raging Bull II will finally get underway this summer with William Forsythe stepping into the role of Jake LaMotta for a film that covers the events before and after those depicted in Scorsese’s original. Based on the book of the same name by LaMotta—and not, in fact, on a Funny Or Die trailer parodying Hollywood’s incessant need to rehash every past triumph—the film will be helmed by Argentinian director Martin Guigui, whose previous credits include the little-seen Dennis Quaid thriller Beneath The Darkness and National Lampoon’s Cattle Call, suggesting he has little to lose by making a sequel to a Martin Scorsese film, and certainly won’t mind seeing his work released straight to DVD again.
As The Playlist reminds us, Forsythe previously played a watered-down De Niro in the short-lived 1993 TV adaptation of Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, but the search is still on for other actors who have no qualms about being pale imitations. Interested parties should check out Moviehole’s casting list for everyone from the back-alley-battlin’ “Young Jake LaMotta” to the Catholic priest who “tries to force young Jake to fellate him and gets punched in the crotch by Jake.” (“Recognizable names: Great cameo role,” the casting list points out, redundantly.) But if you’re looking to play Jake’s slick “wise-guy” porn director friend Rick, his abusive drunk Italian dad, or his born-again Christian wife Sally, please note that these roles are open to “STAR NAME ONLY.” After all, they’re not making cheap, derivative trash here; they’re making Raging Bull II.