Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese may be turning his camera lens on the legendary love affair between recently departed superstar Elizabeth Taylor and iconic actor Richard Burton, according to Deadline.com.
Scorsese (“The Departed,” “Goodfellas,” “Taxi Driver”) is finalizing a deal with Paramount Pictures to develop a feature based on Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger’s book “Furious Love” (which includes some of the duo’s love letters). A screenwriter has yet to be chosen.
Scorsese would also produce the film, with Julie Yorn, Gary Foster and Russ Krasnoff.
Meanwhile, Lifetime is developing a Taylor-Burton love story telefilm as well.
After meeting on the troubled set of “Cleopatra” (1963), Taylor and Burton began an affair that was in the headlines as much as the infamously over-budget film itself. Burton was married and Taylor was already on her fourth husband when they met. They later got married, divorced, re-married and divorced again, becoming one of Hollywood’s most legendary on-again-off-again couples.
The two appeared in eleven films together, including “The V.I.P.s,” “The Sandpiper” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” for which Taylor earned her second Oscar (the first was for “Butterfield 8”). They also appeared together on stage and on TV.
Taylor died earlier this year, Burton in 1984.
Scorsese has shown a keen interest in Hollywood’s past before. In 2004, he directed the acclaimed Howard Hughes biopic “The Aviator,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Hughes and Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn (for which she won an Oscar). He also spent years developing a Dean Martin biopic and is currently prepping a film about Frank Sinatra that he’ll direct at Universal.
Scorsese’s last film was “Shutter Island,” and his next, the 3D “Hugo Cabret,” opens November 23. It stars Jude Law, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, Chloe Moretz (“Kick-Ass”), Emily Mortimer and Christopher Lee.