Martin also co-wrote Martin Scorsese's 'New York, New York' and Ken Russell's 'Valentino.'
Mardik Martin, the co-screenwriter behind Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets, New York, New York and Raging Bull, has died. He was 82.
Martin died on Wednesday in Los Angeles, friend and screenwriter Howard Rodman wrote in a Facebook post.
Of Armenian descent, Martin was born in Iran in 1936, but raised in Iraq. He left Iraq for America and studied at NYU in the early 1960s where he met fellow student and future collaborator Scorsese. Martin would later graduate from NYU with a masters.
After several projects made in college, Martin and Scorsese's first feature was the gritty drama Mean Streets, co-writing the screenplay based on a story by Scorsese. Released in 1971 to wide critical acclaim, Mean Streets signalled Scorsese's arrival as a filmmaking talent. The pair next worked together on 1977's New York, New York, the musical drama directed by Scorsese with a screenplay by Martin and Earl Mac Rauch.
The final film Martin and Scorsese worked on was the boxing biopic Raging Bull. Based on the memoir of Jake LaMotta, Scorsese directed a screenplay written by Martin and Paul Schrader. The film proved a huge commercial and critical hit, garnering eight Oscar nominations including best picture and best director and won two including best actor for Robert DeNiro.
Aside from his work with Scorsese, Martin co-wrote the screenplay to the late Ken Russell's 1977 film Valentino, based on the life of silent film star Rudolph Valentino which starred Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev.
In 2008, a documentary on Martin's life titled Mardik: Baghdad to Hollywood was released and featured contributions from Scorsese, George Lucas and Irwin Winker as well as film historian Peter Biskind.
Martin's final film work was co-writing the screenplay to Turkish-German director Fatih Akin's 2014 film The Cut which explored the legacy of the Armenian Genocide, a subject close to his heart.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, the Armenian Film Society said: "Mardik Martin was an incredible voice in film and made significant contributions to cinema as a screenwriter, most notably through his collaboration with Martin Scorsese. Their work together resulted in some of cinema's most essential films. Mardik Martin was a towering figure in the Armenian community, as well as the history of film - and he will truly be missed."
Away from movies, Martin spent much of his later life teaching creative writing with stints at NYU and USC.
EXCLUSIVE: Oscar conversations around town bring differing opinions about what might win in an exceptional year for auteur cinema. It was surprising how many people add: boy would it be nice to see Martin Scorsese get an Oscar for his final mob epic, The Irishman. Sure he won for The Departed, but he got robbed on Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Raging Bull and Casino, those epics with Robert De Niro.
Scorsese shared with Deadline moments from those film collaborations with De Niro. Most know the hardship this film went through after De Niro and Scorsese decided to scrap a Paramount greenlit adaptation of the Don Winslow novel The Winter of Frankie Machine to instead make the film about union leader/hitman Frank Sheeran's deathbed regret over crimes that included the murder of his best friend, Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa. The Irishman allowed Scorsese and De Niro to focus on the regret and guilt that few mobsters in his earlier films conveyed.
Because it spanned decades, no studio would step up for the de-aging technology that pushed its budget to $160 million, until Netflix embraced it. What is surprising here is how much of a struggle they encountered on every movie Scorsese and De Niro made together.
DEADLINE: A documentary on fellow New York director Sidney Lumet traced how his filmmaking path was forged by watching soldiers pull a young girl on to a train to sexually abuse her, and when it was clear he might not survive an attempt to stop it, he did nothing. The guilt pressed Lumet to make movies about men who summon the courage to stand up for what is right no matter the cost, like in 12 Angry Men. I watched your films, from Silence to Mean Streets and wondered; what events in your own life informed the depictions of guilt, faith, and cowardice of the imperfect male characters in these films? Like the interpreter in Silence who asks for confession to forgive his latest betrayal, knowing full well he's going to do it again the next time he needs to save his own skin. All this began with the relationship between Harvey Keitel and De Niro's characters in Mean Streets.
MARTIN SCORSESE: But that character in Silence, he's really going to try not to [repeat the sin.] That's a difference. He says, I will pray to be stronger. I promise I'll be stronger. It's his condition. It's the human condition and that's such a complicated question. There are so many things I saw growing up...grown men in a male dominated world. There were good, hardworking, decent guys but there were many people around who had money in the street, as they say, and who were involved in real street corner underworld activity. Just thugs, but a lot of those thugs I basically knew as people first. I was eight years old.
Some were nice, some weren't. The ones who weren't, you...
As announced Friday, the screenplay for “Ant-Man 3,” the latest sequel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, will be written by “Rick and Morty” writer Jeff Loveness. Peyton Reed, as previously announced, is returning to direct. Deadline reported that the duo had signed onto the project, which will also see Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly reprise their roles as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Hope van Dyne/The Wasp from the first two “Ant-Man” films.
Loveness’ attachment to the project is the latest news to come out of “Ant-Man 3” working title since the film was confirmed to be in the works by Deadline in October 2019. There's no word yet on when the film will enter production, nor is there any information about its release date.
Regardless, diehard Marvel Cinematic Universe fans pining for the next “Ant-Man” installment will likely have to be patient. Marvel has already announced its now-shifted Phase Four slate, which will kick off with “Black Widow” on November 6, followed by “The Eternals” on February 12, 2021. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Seven Rings” will debut on May 7, 2021, while “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” will release on November 5, 2021. “Thor: Love and Thunder” will hit theaters on February 18, 2022. All of the aforementioned films' release dates were updated earlier today as part of Disney's response to the current global health crisis.
Loveness, who confirmed the news on Twitter, is no stranger to Marvel: He's worked on a variety of comics for the company, including several that are focused on Spider-Man and boundlessly heroic space tree Groot. He has also worked on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and TBS' “Miracle Workers.”
Reed directed the first “Ant-Man” film, released in 2015, and its sequel, 2018's “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise began embracing the more surreal, galaxy-trekking elements of Marvel comics lore in recent films, the “Ant-Man” films have centered on the titular protagonist's comparably small-scale and relatable misadventures. Ant-Man played a key role in last year's “Avengers: Endgame,” where the superhero revealed a sci-fi MacGuffin that allowed the Avengers to travel back in time and undo the work of the genocidal Thanos.
IndieWire has reached out to Marvel Studios for comment.