Warner Bros. wanted to make The Departed a franchise
Luckily, Martin Scorsese fought the studio's plans to drag out the original story.
The Departed won Martin Scorsese his only Oscar for Best Director, and it also won Best Picture, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Starring Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, and more, it focused on an undercover cop and a mob boss spy working in the police force.
While the film as a standalone release saw a lot of praise from critics and moviegoers, the people at Warner Bros. weren't particularly happy, as they wanted The Departed to be the start of a franchise. Scorsese recalled how the studio execs tried to extend the story beyond its natural conclusion.
Speaking to GQ, he said: "What they wanted was a franchise. It wasn't about a moral issue of a person living or dying." He recalled how at test screenings filmmakers walked out extremely happy, while studio execs weren't nearly as thrilled. "The studio guys walked out and they were very sad, because they just didn't want that movie. They wanted the franchise. Which means: I can't work here anymore."
Scorsese is a known opponent of franchises, namely the superhero movies that we've seen littering the box office for the past 15 years or so. Do you think he's right to dodge everything franchise-related?