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Thursday, 21 September, 2000, 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK
Spielberg and Scorsese 'form dream team'
Steven Spielberg, with his wife Kate Capshaw, clutches his Oscar
Could collaboration between Spielberg and Scorsese bring Oscar success?
Movie titans Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese are to join forces on a future film project about the American railroad.

Spielberg's production company Dreamworks will produce and Scorsese will direct the film, titled Into The Setting Sun, according to Hollywood trade paper Variety.

Kevin Spacey and Annette Benning
Dreamworks produced Sam Mendes' Oscar-winning American Beauty
No script yet exists, however it is reported that Bill Wittliff, writer of Legends of the Fall and The Perfect Storm, has been handed the script-writing reins.

The story will focus on the birth and construction of the transcontinental railroad, which united the west and east of America in the 19th century.

The country was united at Promontory, Utah, on 10 May 1869, as the Union Pacific tracks joined those of the Central Pacific Railroad.

De niro is Raging Bull
Bullish: Robert De Niro is one of Scorsese's longest collaborators
The construction of the 2,000-mile track cost the lives of thousands of workers, many of them immigrant Chinese.

The two American film-makers have never before collaborated although they have exchanged projects in the past.

Scorsese was originally slated to direct Schindler's List before Spielberg took on the project, and Cape Fear, one of Scorsese's films, was in development by Spielberg before he handed it over.

The transcontinental railroad
A milestone in American history
No timescale for the film has yet been announced.

Spielberg is currently in development with AI, a project he took over from the late Stanley Kubrick, to star Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law, while Scorsese is directing Gangs of New York, in Italy.

The collaboration brings together two of the biggest names in cinema, but also two of the most diverse.

Spielberg made his name as a director of box office epics such as ET and Jaws, although in recent years his style has turned more sombre with films such as Amistad.

By contrast, Scorsese has been feted by arthouse audiences, directing masterpieces such as Raging Bull and Goodfellas.

See also:

15 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Spielberg to wrap Kubrick project
23 Oct 99 | Tom Brook
Scorsese's still a winner
01 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Spielberg's top directing honour
27 Oct 99 | Entertainment
Spielberg goes online
12 Aug 99 | Entertainment
Spielberg's top military honour
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