May 18, 2024

Taxi Driver” screenwriter Paul Schrader has expressed his disapproval of Robert De Niro reprising his role as Travis Bickle in an Uber ad campaign.

“Ouch. Why Bob would do this is beyond my reckoning,” Schrader wrote on Facebook on Wednesday evening. “But I haven’t seen it. If I’m lucky I never will.”

Reports began circulating this week about De Niro playing the troubled New York cabbie from Martin Scorsese’s 1976 film for an upcoming Uber campaign. The neo-noir psychological thriller scored four Oscar nominations, including best picture and best actor in a leading role for De Niro’s performance as Travis.

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.

During the Cannes Film Festival press conference for “Killers of the Flower Moon” in May, De Niro admitted her struggled to connect with cattleman and convicted murderer William Hale, who he portrays in the film.

“I don’t understand a lot about my character,” De Niro explained. “Part of him is sincere. The other part, where he’s betraying [the Osage people], there’s a feeling of entitlement.”

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