The ocean floor holds millions of shipwrecks — each one a reminder of humanity’s extensive history of exploring and trading by sea. Now, legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese is set to explore these ancient shipwrecks in Sicily (his ancestral homeland).

Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese at the 74nd Berlin International Film Festival 2024 (Wikimedia Commons/Harald Krichel)

Scorsese’s new documentary will be different from his usual mobster movies. It will focus on him exploring the Mediterranean Sea. He’ll be investigating sunken ships that reveal secrets about ancient civilizations and trade routes. 

Martin Scorsese’s New Project is a Return to His Roots

Martin Scorsese at the 74nd Berlin International Film Festival 2024
Martin Scorsese at the 74nd Berlin International Film Festival 2024 (Wikimedia Commons/Harald Krichel)

Legendary director Martin Scorsese is heading back to his roots in Sicily for a new project a documentary about ancient shipwrecks! This documentary is deeply personal for Scorsese. Part of the filming will take place in Polizzi Generosa, the hometown of his grandparents.

This isn’t just a story about sunken ships, though. The 81-year-old will be teaming up with archaeologist Lisa Briggs to discover the lives of the sailors who sailed these vessels, the treasures they carried, and the ancient trade routes they followed. By looking at the recovered artifacts, they hope to bring these lost cultures back to life.

The Sicilian authorities are also excited about the project and have allowed access to important archaeological sites and parks. Francesco Paolo Scarpinato, Sicily’s councilor for cultural heritage, told Italian news agency ANSA (via Variety):

We’ve welcomed the initiative with enthusiasm. [Island’s authorities are] making all pertinent sites and archaeological parks available, considering the relevance of the project.

They’ll be filming in various places like the Strait of Sicily, Trapani port, and the Caves of Cusa. These spots reveal the extensive scope of ancient sea trade, from busy ports to secret coves where ships found shelter. 

Martin Scorsese’s New Project is Expected to Begin this Summer

Martin Scorsese is gearing up to shoot this new documentary this summer. The film comes after his latest project, Killers of the Flower Moon, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone

Killers of the Flower Moon
Martin Scorsese with the cast of Killers of the Flower Moon (Credits: Paramount Pictures)

The high-end doc is being co-produced by several big names. Scorsese’s own production company, Sikelia Productions, is involved alongside Sicily’s regional culture department. Partners from the UK include Sunk Costs Productions, while American producer Chad A. Verdi (known for The Irishman) and Los Angeles-based LBI Entertainment are also on board. 

In July 2022, Deadline announced that Scorsese and DiCaprio (known for working together) are joining forces once more to turn the book The Wager into a movie. The Hollywood’s movie mogul will be the star, and the film might even share the book’s title.

Watch Killers of the Flower Moon on Apple TV+. 

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