Pardon the obvious headline, but sometimes the low-hanging fruit is the tastiest.
I’m not sure what surgery or drug has given low-budget and DTV sequel director Guigui the balls but, according to Moviehole, Raging Bull II is happening. This is something that’s kind of been vaguely brought up in the past, but never looked likely to actually come together. Now it is apparently only a few months from shooting and will feature William Forsythe in the biographic role made famous by Robert DeNiro in his prime.
Looking only at the director’s credentials (National Lampoon’s Cattle Call, and other shit you’ve not heard of), you’d have to guess this film will be a full on direct-to-video throwaway that you’d see on a gas station rack for three bucks. You know, the kind of sequel that doesn’t even count, like American Pyscho II or an American Pie spin-off. While it doesn’t happen as often, classic and beloved films do sometimes get this treatment. That said, this is a long-sought project form the producers based on the follow-up biographical novel to Jake LaMotta’s autobiography that the original film was based on. This second book was more about LaMotta post-second-wind fame, as he settled into an apparently stable sixth marriage.
They do in fact have the balls to evoke the Scorsese masterpiece, calling their effort a “companion film” that will fill out details before and after the events of that film. No word if it will be shot for color or black&white.
To be fair, William Forsythe is a well-liked character actor who most recently impressed with his growing supporting role on Boardwalk Empire as Manny Horvitz. There are worse things to anticipate than seeing Forsythe beat the shit out of some dudes.
Below is a casting notice that gives some hint at the early/late life dual-approach they seem to be taking.
YOUNG JAKE LAMOTTA
To play 14-20 years old, and already a tough bare knuckles fighter. He takes his father’s frequent beatings without a sound and makes money fighting much bigger opponents in back alley fights set up by his drunken, abusive father. Please submit over 18 to play younger OR emancipated
Portrays 40s-70s, Jake’s father, a tough-looking Italian man, he’s a mean drunk who handcuffs and beats his son. He sets up the back alley fights with Jake and much older, stronger opponents. Later he refuses to help the grown-up Jake when he asks for money. Late in life, a frail old man, he reconciles with Jake just before his death. STAR NAME ONLY
40s-50s, Jake’s childhood friend “Ricky”, now a tall, glib and charming wise guy type, wearing a very expensive suit. He’s done very well running the factory Jake gave him the money to start when he was champ. Later he produces and directs porn while trying to break into legit movie-making. He’s always got his eye on Jake and manages to find him work, first as a stand-up in seedy clubs, then as a bouncer in a mob-owned strip joint, finally putting him to work with other ex-champs in his legitimate movies. STAR NAME ONLY
30-40, Jake’s girlfriend and later his wife and Lisa’s mother. After years of dealing with Jake’s drinking and womanizing, she finds Jesus and takes Lisa with her to Florida, leaving Jake alone in New York. STAR NAME ONLY
60s, Head Master of the reform school, he tries to force young Jake to fellate him and gets punched in the crotch by Jake. Recognizable names: Great Cameo Role
RICARDO “RICKY” ROSSELLI
14, Jake’s best friend, arranges more back alley fights and splits the take with Jake. Please submit over 18 to play younger OR emancipated
30-40, aging, yet still sexy, Hollywood movie starlet. From Vienna, she still speaks with a slight accent. She’s furious when Jake won’t sleep with her. Recognizable names: Great Cameo Role