When Martin Scorsese Asked For My Help, I Obliged!: A Cinematic Story Of Sorts

Martin Scorsese (Photo by Jeff Vespa; copyright WireImage.com)

“Neil! It’s Marty. Do you got a minute? I really need your help,” Martin Scorsese, the titanic film director, said to me a few days ago. He was calling from his production studios in Manhattan, where he’s putting the finishing touches on The Irishman, a crime drama with an all-star cast that includes Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking: How can a schlub like me be friends with a luminary like Scorsese? Maybe I’ll go into the details in a future article. For now, let me merely say that Marty and I first met, a few years ago, in a dream (click here to access that dream). Our relationship evolved and deepened organically from there into a real-life friendship.

Leonardo DiCaprio (photo credit: NASA/Goddard/Rebecca Roth)

“Listen, Neil,” Marty went on, “here’s why I’m calling. You know Leo, right? Leonardo DiCaprio? He’s been in a bunch of my films.”

“Sure, everybody knows who he is. But I never met him, if that’s what you mean.”

Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci (attributed to Francesco Melzi)

“Leo’s a great guy,” Marty went on. “Talented as hell. Smart as hell too, a genius in fact. That’s why, I suppose, I came up with this fabulous idea: DiCaprio should portray Leonardo da Vinci in a movie. One genius playing another genius. One Leonardo playing another Leonardo. Could anything be cooler than that? I love it, man! It can’t miss . . . except that I’m having trouble figuring out what angle the movie ought to take, what it should be about. A straight drama? Forget it. I’ve done enough of those. A comedy? Definitely could work. Picture this: Da Vinci would be a bumbler in the film, stumbling from one misadventure to another. The running gag would be da Vinci getting his humongous beard caught in a door wherever he goes. ‘Get me out of this hairy situation, I beg you! The f*cking door is stuck!’ would be his catchphrase.”

“Marty, that’s good. You can’t go wrong with a comedy. But you know what’s even better? A superhero movie, Marty, a superhero movie. Da Vinci was gifted as hell. He was a painter, an inventor, a scientist, a mathematician, a you-name-it. Shit, there was nothing that old boy couldn’t do. He was the Renaissance man of all Renaissance men.”

Marty cut me off. “I’m listening, Neil. And I like where I think you’re going with this. Tell me more.”

“Well, only the greatest Renaissance man of them all has what it takes to save the hub of the Renaissance — Florence, Italy — from two potentially catastrophic invasions. The first assault is by aliens, the second by zombies.”

“When the aliens, looking for all the world like seven-foot tall ants, descend upon Florence from a distant galaxy, in 1505, the city’s residents are thrown into a panic,” I continued. “But Leonardo da Vinci, a Florentine, stays cool, immediately putting his scientific know-how into use. Within an hour he invents a chemical spray that anything resembling an ant will be powerless against. Then he disguises himself with a Mona Lisa mask, whose enigmatic smile stops the invaders in their tracks. They’ve never seen such a smile before, and are nearly hypnotized by it. Spray bottles in hand, da Vinci now advances on the creatures, systematically killing them one by one.”

David, by Michelangelo (photo credit: Jorg Bittner Unna)

“‘All we wanted to do was steal Michelangelo’s statue of David from your city and bring it back to our planet,’ the alien leader says to da Vinci with its final breaths. ‘David’s hung like a horse, after all. Most impressive! The statue would have sat majestically in our supreme ruler’s palace. He’d have gazed at it admiringly and enviously, sometimes bemoaning the less-than-daunting size of his own genitalia.'”

“You’re on a roll, Neil,” Marty said. “What’s next?”

“Well, only one week after da Vinci dispatches the aliens, Florence is confronted with an untold number of zombies. Those f*ckers seemingly came from out of nowhere. But they don’t stand a chance, not with our Renaissance man on the scene. He dons his signature mask, whose smile has the same effect on the zombies as it did on the aliens. That’s when da Vinci whips out the hammer and chisel that he’s borrowed from Michelangelo — the very same tools that Michelangelo used to carve the David statue — and bashes the living crap out of the baddies. Problem solved! Case closed!”

“Yes, this is the best!” Marty exclaimed. “Mega-sance Man, short for Mega Renaissance Man, is what we’ll call da Vinci’s alter ego. And that’ll be the name of the film too. Neil, I can tell that this will be the most popular movie I’ve ever made, an absolute blockbuster. I’m going to hang up now. I’ve got to call DiCaprio and tell him about your genius ideas. For years he’s been itching to play a guy who saves the world. Thank you, Neil, thank you. You’ll receive a screenwriter credit, of course, and hefty payments for your contributions.”

“Marty, in your hands Mega-sance Man will be stunning. Leonardo da Vinci, if he were alive, would be flattered and proud.”

(Please don’t be shy about adding your comments or about sharing this story on social media. Mucho gracias.)

103 thoughts on “When Martin Scorsese Asked For My Help, I Obliged!: A Cinematic Story Of Sorts

  1. cindy knoke August 6, 2019 / 12:33 am

    Okay. Laughing. A lot.
    It is obvious (probably only to me) that Scorsese who has been married “n” times, n being a statistical symbol meaning way more than one, assures us that dicaprio’s relationships with females, “are totally normal.”
    I don’t need to quote check myself on this because I remember it by heart.
    Does it diminish them to me?
    Pretty much.
    Females are people too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 6, 2019 / 3:20 pm

      Hi Cindy. I’m not sure what to say in response. I’m unaware of Scorsese or DiCaprio being bad guys. I hope they’re not.


  2. Lynette d'Arty-Cross August 6, 2019 / 12:34 am

    Hahaha! 😀 Your dreams are fabulous! Mine, if I can remember them, are often strange … actually, now that I think of it, kind of like yours. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. George August 6, 2019 / 12:47 am

    Fabulous. Some of the finest friendships are formed in dreams. The perfect twist will be to read in the papers in a few months that Scorcese is working on a superhero movie about Da Vinci starting DiCaprio!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. joylennick August 6, 2019 / 6:36 am

    You are a one, Neil.I’m still giggling. What a concept! I too have the weirdest dreams.Years ago, it seemed to work out that, whenever we’d just eaten the rest of the cakes, someone would ‘pop’ in. And you know it’s a “crime” not to be able to offer a guest a cake in a Jewish household..When this occasionally occurred, I’d cook up a storm of cakes the following week and, of course, sod’s law,there’d be no callers….This lead me to worrying…and I dreamt (true!) that there was a knock at the door, and when opened, it revealed an army of helmeted Vikings. Horror of horrors, were they intent on rape and pillage? No, they just wanted tea and cake. There was just enough, but they had to sit in the garden…xx PS More crazy dreams, please. x

    Liked by 2 people

  5. greenpete58 August 6, 2019 / 8:21 am

    I detect a little satirical commentary about blockbuster-obsessed Hollyweird here. Am I mistaken? Touché! (But David’s genitals will have to be obscured so young people aren’t traumatized. Bashing the crap out of the baddies – in fact, unlimited blood and mayhem – is perfectly fine.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 6, 2019 / 3:04 pm

      Hi Pete. I don’t watch very many superhero movies. But I’ve seen a few. I liked the first Iron Man movie, for instance. And I saw Black Panther, which was pretty good.


  6. Laurie Graves August 6, 2019 / 8:51 am

    Oh, too funny! Love it. Leonardo da Vinci: Alien hunter, zombie slayer.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Helen Devries August 6, 2019 / 9:24 am

    Now that’s a film I would pay to see!
    We lived not far from Amboise where he came to work in his latter years….a beastly expensive little town which could do with a plague of aliens…it already has the zombies.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jacqui Murray August 6, 2019 / 10:27 am

    Yeah yeah, humor, but really, I love the idea of Leonardo da Vinci as super hero–genius sort. He was brilliant. I don’t doubt he could think his way out of any problem!

    Let’s do it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 6, 2019 / 3:07 pm

      People like da Vinci don’t come around every day. See you, Jacqui. Enjoy the week.


  9. Alyson August 6, 2019 / 11:09 am

    The royalties will be flooding in and all down to an enigmatic smile mask – She was some gal that Mona Lisa (with the Mona Lisa smile). Hey Neil, I have a great idea for a song! Oh no, that one’s been done already.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 6, 2019 / 3:11 pm

      Hey there, Alyson. I suppose that the Mona Lisa painting is the most famous painting in the world. There are countless superb paintings in existence, but somehow that one gained more fame than just about any other.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. lievelee August 6, 2019 / 11:59 am

    Love your dream, Neil.. Clearly there’s a blockbuster idea brewing away somewhere and itching to get down on paper.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 6, 2019 / 3:15 pm

      Lieve, I’m going to stick with my 1,000- or- so-word pieces. Anything more demanding than that would wear me out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lievelee August 7, 2019 / 3:54 am

        I so agree… I am definitely considering to take life a little easier in future. Focus on travel and less on work.. Not yet sure how that is going to pan out as work funds my travel. But I seem to be managing OK at the moment. I shouldn’t yet get too comfortable living this very relaxed life…


        Liked by 1 person

  11. JT Twissel August 6, 2019 / 1:47 pm

    A comedy about DaVinci – now that I’d like to see. Bravo on getting those screen writing credits.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 6, 2019 / 3:18 pm

      The exact terms of those credits still need to be worked out. See ya!


  12. Paddy Tobin August 6, 2019 / 4:03 pm

    I watched a programme on television on Sunday evening last – Irish tv programme about Blarney Castle. I’m sure you know the story – come and kiss the Blarney Stone and you have the gift of the gab, an ease and fluency of language which will make you the envy of all who hear you. Well, on reflection, I reckon you have been to Blarney but, not being content with kissing the stone, you took a blooming big bite out of it. LOL Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 6, 2019 / 7:40 pm

      Paddy, I’d like to do pieces of this sort more frequently. Maybe it’ll happen. Anyway, I’m glad you liked it. See you!


      Liked by 1 person

  13. sniderjerry August 6, 2019 / 4:06 pm

    Hey there Neil, Speaking of movies and this is no dream. Watch for a movie called THEM THAT FOLLOW – I’m an extra in it. Check out the trailer – Have a good day and a peaceful night’s sleep. Jerry

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 6, 2019 / 7:43 pm

      I just looked it up on IMDB. If it comes to my area, I’ll go and see it. Thanks for letting me know about it, Jerry. I hope I get to see you on the big screen!


      • sniderjerry August 7, 2019 / 7:39 am

        There are 19 photos on The IMDB THEM THAT FOLLOW On #15 you can see the back of me – blue shirt gray hair watching the band. Looking forward to your review. Jerry

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, Another Blogger August 7, 2019 / 8:33 am

          I see you!

          It’s not at any of the theaters I go to. But maybe it will get to at least one of them.


  14. alhenry August 6, 2019 / 5:00 pm

    Wow, Neil, good thing you remembered to not capitalize the “T” in “the titanic film director” or we would all have thought you were pals with James Cameron.

    Leo as Leonardo? Comic zombies? Should I order an advance ticket now for the Big Screen debut? Btw, once Leo’s done saving Florence from zombies, any chance he could save Venice from the gigantic cruise ships that are swamping the city with tens of thousands of tourists? (Who often seem to resemble zombies.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 6, 2019 / 7:44 pm

      Are you in Venice? If so, have fun. It’s a great place, despite any zombies.


  15. andrewcferguson August 6, 2019 / 5:21 pm

    Neil, that’s one hell of an elevator pitch. Hollywood needs more people like you for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. viewfromoverthehill August 6, 2019 / 6:30 pm

    Leonardo da Vinci and aliens and zombies. I think you’re crazier than I am Neil and that’s really crazy. Love your posts. Keep them coming…..

    Liked by 1 person

  17. johnlmalone August 6, 2019 / 9:51 pm

    Hilarious. One of the best things you’ve written. Never give up blogging, Neil, I laughed all the way through. What a set up :):)

    Liked by 2 people

  18. swabby429 August 7, 2019 / 7:30 am

    This might actually work as a Broadway musical, instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. tanjabrittonwriter August 7, 2019 / 10:56 am

    You have missed your calling, Neil, but it’s never to late to become a novelist! If Marty changes his mind, you will have a New York Times Bestseller to your credit! 📚

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Ann Coleman August 7, 2019 / 3:16 pm

    I think you’re on to something here, Neil. The script you propose sounds as if it would be VERY commercially successful, and I’m sure your friend Martin would be willing to share the big bucks with you. But if he isn’t, you could always write a comedy instead. That would really be good…trust me on this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 7, 2019 / 4:40 pm

      Marty won’t let me down (I think).

      Hi Ann. Thanks for stopping by. As always, I appreciate it. See ya!


  21. Anonymous August 9, 2019 / 12:35 pm

    2 Leonardo’s for the price of 1 ; I agree, Da Vinci, not “just” an artist, largely dominates the scene. Only he could have saved Florence from the invaders back in 1505. Ironically Florence today needs saving from the hordes of tourist invaders, many of whom come to see Da Vinci’s works !
    Makes me imagine something you might write in the future : a “whodunnit” that takes place in renascence Florence
    Great story and I remember when you first met Scorsese in a prior blog.
    Alan from Paris

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 9, 2019 / 1:50 pm

      Hi Alan. You and I can collaborate on the Florence whodunnit. We might come up with a hit!


  22. selizabryangmailcom August 9, 2019 / 1:51 pm

    Poor aliens, jealous of David! Omg, I feel sorry for the Mrs. Aliens, lol !!
    Can’t wait for the post about your lunch with K. Richards AND Mr. S. both at the same time.
    I’m sure Keith could pitch Marty a crazy movie idea…………!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. cincinnatibabyhead August 9, 2019 / 6:45 pm

    ‘Mega-sauce Man’ is my contribution to the writing. Has a better taste to it and I know Marty likes his sauces. I don’t need a credit or acknowledgment. Maybe you could throw a role as one of the “Ant creatures” my way.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. smilecalm August 10, 2019 / 9:12 am

    i’m honored rubbing shoulders
    with one with such high status, Neil!
    i’ll look for your in an upcoming
    in my dreams 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  25. America On Coffee August 11, 2019 / 11:35 pm

    You are so creative Neil! I love your fusion here with history, personalities, genres and your artistic skill as a proposing film director. 👍❤🎭❤😎

    Liked by 1 person

  26. cath August 12, 2019 / 7:19 am

    You are clearly a brilliant muse – are you available to lesser beings as well as celebrities?

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Pam Lazos August 12, 2019 / 8:02 am

    Hilarious as always, Neil! Although, maybe you can convince him to do something other than zombies. It’s so last week. I’ve got a half dozen screenplays I can send him next time you talk! :0)

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Marietta Rodgers August 13, 2019 / 1:22 pm

    See what Martin thinks about doing a movie called Uber Driver. It can be a sequel to Taxi Driver and we get to see De Niro as an old man with dementia. Great stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Henry Chamberlain August 14, 2019 / 9:14 pm

    A Scorsese superhero movie? It would have to be this scenario. Nothing else makes sense!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 14, 2019 / 10:05 pm

      I’m glad you agree.

      Hi Henry, and thanks for stopping by. Much appreciated.


  30. Silver Screenings August 18, 2019 / 3:56 pm

    I love this Mega-sance Man idea!

    Here’s hoping the screenwriting cheques roll in soon. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Angie August 18, 2019 / 10:41 pm

    Your dreams are funny! I could visualize the conversation. My weird dreams are more like film noir. I like the comedy better!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 19, 2019 / 6:59 am

      Hi. Speaking of film noir, have you seen Out Of The Past, with Robert Mitchum? It’s a real good one.


  32. Steve Higgins August 22, 2019 / 6:28 am

    Entertaining as usual but go easy on the mushrooms next time Neil . . 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  33. carolinehelbig August 22, 2019 / 11:13 pm

    OMG…this made me laugh out loud. You have a great sense of humour and the piece is so beautifully written. Mega-sance man…hilarious!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Julie Holmes, author August 25, 2019 / 9:35 pm

    This is great, Neil! Leo da Vinci could so be a superhero! Hey, maybe Scorsese could hook up with whoever did the Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter movie. Or maybe Leo invents a time machine and brings Abe back to the Renaissance to help with the whole zombie thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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