Scorsese to Produce Documentary Based on Roger Ebert's Memoirs

September 7, 2012
Source: Twitter

Roger Ebert and Martin Scorsese

As it stands, Roger Ebert is one of the most well-known film critics in the history of the profession, best known for his thumbs-up scale made famous with his late critic partner Gene Siskel. Now the critic is set to be the subject of his own film as Ebert tweeted this morning (via The Playlist) that his memoir Life Itself has been optioned by Hoop Dreams director Steve James and writer/producer/director Steven Zaillian for a documentary that will also be executive produced by iconic filmmaker Martin Scorsese. But despite his expertise as a film critic, Ebert won't be involved in making the film itself other than being the subject.

Ebert couldn't be more thrilled with the prospect and the talent involved as he said told Criticwire:

"This dropped out of the blue. They say they have a good idea for an approach. I believe Steve James' 'Hoop Dreams' is one of the greatest documentaries ever made, and my hopes for this are so high. I never thought of my book as a doc. I'm keeping hands off any involvement, such as with the screenplay, because I don't want to be a third wheel. Whatever they do I will be fascinated."

James is definitely one of the best documentarians working today as evidenced by his thorough films Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters from last year, and having a name like Zaillian involved only sweetens the deal. Scorsese's involvement is also pretty damn good, but not entirely unexpected. Ebert once wrote on entire book on the filmmaker aptly titled Scorsese by Ebert, something that was necessary reading in my college days when I took a course dedicated to the only the films of the GoodFellas and Taxi Driver director. The project still sounds like it's in its infancy, so stay tuned as it develops. Interested?

Find more posts: Development, Movie News



Roger Ebert has Twitter??? I thought this guy was against the new age of digital technology and software...

JerseyBoy on Sep 7, 2012


Truly. The man cannot believe video games can be art. I still think his opinions are valuable, but my opinion of him has lessened.

Preston on Sep 7, 2012


Who in their right mind DOES think that video games can be art.

Charles on Sep 8, 2012


Chrono Trigger on SNES is a work of art to me. Graphics, music, sound(!), story are all perfect.

rennmaxbeta on Sep 8, 2012


More recently: Bastion, and for the same reasons you mentioned.

Preston on Sep 8, 2012


you ever play mass effect 2?? Shadowman?? theres amazing storys in these games that last more than just 2 1/2 hours. Its an awesome medium for storytelling and to be part of the story. I understand if your thinkin Mario or pacman but you must not be a gamer , at least not the action adventure type

Christopher Philip Cinquegrano on Sep 8, 2012


This is good news. Ebert is one of my favorite critics, I value his opinion more than many others in the profession. So many critics are too negative and seem to be very cynical, but I think even after all these years Ebert has a true passion for movies. So many reviews have a clinical feel to them, but his read more like a discussion. My favorite quote ever in a review (from the movie "The Spirit"): "To call the characters cardboard is to insult a useful packing material."

John on Sep 7, 2012


Ebert is a joke. These past few years his reviews have been terrible, and often sound like a summary with a paragraph or two very vaguely explaining his like/dislike for a film. Let's not forget how he also has a knack for condescending his audience if they disagree with his view (The Raid/Kick Ass off the top of my head). Also, his Thor review was hilarious, given how he explicitly slammed the film, then explicitly made it clear he didn't understand key plot points. Didn't he also post a stupid insensitive tweet about the guy from Jackass, hours after he died. Stay classy, Roger. And yeah, the 'video games can never be art' only further demonstrates how much of a pompous moron he is. This film is most likely going to fuel his ego even further. Thankfully Scorcese isn't actually wasting his time directing.

ShirtlessLocke on Sep 7, 2012


I would thoroughly enjoy that. I respect Roger. He can occasionally be in left field, but I've always thought him fair, and I felt he explains his reasoning in a way that spoke to me personally.

Quanah on Sep 7, 2012


WTF? Who's the creepy freak next to Scorsese?

guest on Sep 7, 2012


haha! very funny!

Avi Smulders on Sep 8, 2012


Roger Ebert. The name speaks for itself. Looking forward to this.

Isildur_of_Numenor on Sep 8, 2012


Is that Eberts real face??? Wtf happened ?

Christopher Philip Cinquegrano on Sep 8, 2012


your cluelessness shows in the fact that you don't even know Ebert has no functional mouth!!!! He uses a computer to speak as he types, he RELIES on technology to function daily and has been on twitter for quite a while. I don't agree with 100% of his reviews but they hold much more weight than mostly any other source

lando on Sep 8, 2012


I've been gettin most of my reviews online now, before the net i'd watch Siskel an ebert at night an check the reviews. Not bein a douchbag but his face doesn't look real , looks like a puppet or somethin. At least he's still doin his thing

Christopher Philip Cinquegrano on Sep 8, 2012


You guys know ebert underwent thyroid cancer and surgery explaining his deformed jaw, which caught a cancerous tissue.

Amit on Sep 9, 2012


Martin Scorses, look out!!!! Seth Brundlefly is about to eat you!!!!!!!!! I'm going to hell for that one, I know.

Bobo_Vision on Sep 9, 2012

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