Orange is the New Black proved that audiences love TV shows about prison; True Detective made it clear that they love series about murder. So it was only a matter of time before someone figured out a way of combining the two, and it's even less of a surprise that that person is Martin Scorsese: according to Deadline, HBO and Paramount are in talks to turn Scorsese's Shutter Island into a TV show called Ashecliffe . Crime, jail, and psychosis — if those are the three elements to a hit TV show, Ashecliffe should be an Emmy-winner in no time.
According to the report, the pilot is set to be directed by Scorsese himself, and the script is to be written by Dennis Lehane, the author of the 2003 novel that was the basis for the blockbuster film. Released in 2010, Shutter Island starred Leonardo DiCaprio as a U.S. Marshall investigating a hospital for the criminally insane after the escape of a patient. While there, he quickly discovered things weren't as they seemed, and the Boston Harbor facility was filled with far more mysteries than he ever could've imagined.
Adapting the film for TV is certainly a surprise; while Shutter Island was a financial success, grossing nearly $300 million, it only got decent reviews and was soon overshadowed by DiCaprio's other 2010 mystery drama, Inception. Still, the "what's real/what's not" theme of the film is a good basis for a TV show, as is the wide, diverse cast of characters that could easily showcase the talents of a number of major actors.
And one of them better be Leonardo DiCaprio. Although the actor hasn't taken on a TV role since Growing Paints back in the early '90s, Ashecliffe could be the perfect return. Like Kevin Spacey and Matthew McConaughey before him, DiCaprio could benefit from starring on a dark, intricate TV show, especially if, like on True Detective or American Horror Story, he'd only have to be there for a season or two. His film career is certainly not hurting, but it's also beginning to feel stale; how many more times can he star in a movie that screams Oscar bait without actually winning an Oscar? Moving to TV would be a much-needed change in DiCaprio's routine, a chance for him to explore his range and alter his image.
Not to mention win him an Emmy. Sure, it's not quite the same as an Oscar, but winning TV's biggest honor is still a major feat, and, as McConaughey might demonstrate tonight, it can even go hand in hand with getting an Academy Award. Perhaps starring for a few seasons in Ashecliffe would be all the inspiration the actor needs to go back to the film world invigorated, and finally get a role worthy of the Oscar that's eluded him for so many years.
It doesn't have to just be DiCaprio, either; Ashecliffe could recruit Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley and the rest of the movie's A-list cast, too. All those actors are huge talents who certainly don't need to change up their routines, but who, like DiCaprio, might not suffer from doing so, either. Starring in an HBO drama could show new sides to these individuals, widening their audiences and giving them even more acclaim than they already have.
But, of course, this is all just me wishing; Ashecliffe could very well cast all new actors when it gets underway, and the show could end up being wonderful without any help from DiCaprio or the others. Still, I'm holding out hope that the Shutter Island stars get on board with the TV show — or, at the very least, even if the others say no, that DiCaprio decides to join. The Oscars may keep shutting him out, but if he takes this role, the Emmys might just have a statue with his name on it come 2016.
Images: Paramount (2)