Martin Scorsese just can't get enough of the Irish! Just as the legendary director of "Raging Bull" and "Taxi Driver" is wrapping up his next movie (based on a novel by Irish-American best seller Dennis Lehane), word is that Scorsese's next project will explore the Irish and their role in the creation of New Jersey's gambling mecca Atlantic City. Best known for exploring the Italian-American underworld, Scorsese has been involved in numerous Irish projects in recent years. There was the epic "Gangs of New York" in 2004, starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Liam Neeson, which explored the Famine-era Irish and how they transformed 19th century New York. Then there was the critically acclaimed "The Departed," featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson and Matt Damon as Boston Irishmen trying to decide if they are cops, gangsters or both. Next up for Scorsese (set for a fall 2009 release) is "Shutter Island," based on a book by Dennis Lehane, who also wrote "Mystic River" and whose latest book, "The Given Day," is an epic about the Boston Irish in the early 1920s. Reteaming Scorsese with DiCaprio, "Shutter Island" is about the search for a murderer in the 1950s. After "Shutter Island," Scorsese will reportedly direct a series pilot for HBO called "Boardwalk Empire." It will explore the roots of Atlantic City. Acclaimed actor Steve Buscemi will reportedly play the lead, a businessman who turns to bootlegging during the Prohibition era in which "Boardwalk Empire" is set. The series also features an Irish immigrant woman who entered into a bad marriage just to escape her parents in Ireland. Scottish actress Kelly McDonald (who has played Irish characters in numerous films, such as "Intermission" and Two Family House, and was seen more recently as Josh Brolin's wife in "No Country for Old Men") is in talks to play the role. Buscemi is not the only "Sopranos talent" linked to "Boardwalk Empire." The series has been written by Terrence Winter, another veteran of the acclaimed HBO show.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore