Taxi Driver 2 Nearly Happened And It Would’ve Been Awful

By Douglas Helm | Published

taxi driver 2

Director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader teamed up to make the classic film Taxi Driver back in the 1970s, and it’s fair to say the ending to that legendary film is pretty definitive. However, that doesn’t mean that the movie was free from the Hollywood urge to make a sequel, as Scrader recently revealed in an interview with IndieWire that Robert De Niro was hoping to make Taxi Driver 2. When asked if he approached De Niro about making the movie, Schrader said, “It’s not true,” clarifying, “Robert is the one who wanted to do that.”

Schrader Says It Was De Niro’s Idea

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Schrader said, “Now, I don’t want to slag De Niro, but a lot of his decisions sometimes have financial motivations,” adding, “I’m sure someone had said to him, “You know, if you do Taxi Driver 2, they can pay.”

Apparently, De Niro talked to Scorcese about it too, and when Scorcese asked Schrader about it, he replied, “Marty, that’s the worst fu**ing idea I’ve ever heard.” But how bad was the idea exactly?

The Conversation

Schrader went on to talk about how they met at De Niro’s restaurant to talk about the potential story for Taxi Driver 2, with Schrader feeling like De Niro’s character Travis Bickle died at the end of the film or shortly after the camera cuts away.

However, the idea was thrown around that Bickle survives and instead becomes a “Ted Kaczynski” type that sends letter bombs from a cabin rather than driving his taxi. De Niro ended up not even liking the idea, so of course, the sequel was never made.

No Remakes Either

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It seemed like clearer instincts prevailed, as there was definitely no reason for Taxi Driver 2 to ever be made, as the movie is basically perfect as it is. Now, there are plenty of classic films out there that could feasibly have a sequel that continues the story, but Taxi Driver isn’t really one of them.

The film even avoided the remake trend, as there were rumors of a remake being thrown around in 2010 with Lars von Trier, Scorsese, and De Niro teaming up, but Schrader revealed in 2014 that the project wasn’t happening and that it was “a terrible idea.”

One Of The Best Films Ever Made

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The original (and only so far) Taxi Driver widely tops many “best films ever made” lists and was even selected by the US Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry. The film follows a taxi driver named Travis Bickle who drives the streets of New York City at night and dreams of cleaning up the streets.

While the premise might seem straightforward enough for there to be a Taxi Driver 2, it wouldn’t make sense to bring Bickle back and it’s also hard to imagine that a sequel or remake could capture the unique, dreamlike atmosphere of the original.

The Cast

The film had an all-star lineup of creative talent with Scorsese at the helm and Schrader’s script, while the cast of Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Leonard Harris, and Albert Brooks all give incredible performances.

Taxi Driver is a truly transportive film, and it’s one of De Niro’s finest roles, and even if Taxi Driver 2 was great, it would still always live in the shadow of the original. It’s safe to say that everyone is happy that both the sequel and the proposed remake didn’t end up panning out.

Source: IndieWire