Several published reports in recent days asserted that De Niro was revisiting the seminal character from Martin Scorsese’s 1976 drama, a role that cemented his status as one of the great actors of his era. Reports of the plan for the commercial prompted “Taxi Driver” screenwriter Paul Schrader to slam the idea in a Facebook post.
“Ouch. Why Bob would do this is beyond my reckoning,” Schrader wrote Sept. 20 on Facebook. “But I haven’t seen it. If I’m lucky I never will.”
In a statement, Uber confirmed that De Niro will be seen later in the year in the U.K. as a pitchman for the service, and also let it be known that the campaign does not have a “Taxi Driver” theme. “We are filming with Robert De Niro in London for a new Uber UK campaign, which will launch later in the year,” the company said in a statement. De Niro spokesman Stan Rosenfield said the actor is not reviving Bickle for the ad, nor is he using the cabbie character’s famous line: “You talkin’ to me?’”
“Taxi Driver,” the neo-noir psychological thriller, scored four Oscar nominations, including best picture and best actor for De Niro.
After penning the screenplay for Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver,” Schrader continued his collaboration with the Oscar-winning director, writing or co-writing “Raging Bull” (1980), “The Last Temptation of Christ” (1988) and “Bringing Out the Dead” (1999). De Niro earned his second Academy Award for his performance as middleweight boxer Jake LaMotta in “Raging Bull.”
On the horizon, De Niro stars in Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone. Set in the 1920s, the crime drama epic revolves around the killing spree of the Osage Nation of Oklahoma, who reside on priceless oil fields. “Killers of the Flower Moon,” which Scorsese co-wrote with Eric Roth, marks De Niro and Scorsese’s tenth feature film together.
From Variety US