In Corman’s World — the captivating documentary about renegade director Roger Corman, due in December — Martin Scorsese reveals that he originally brought his 1973 project Mean Streets to Corman.
Corman urged the young hotshot to change all the characters and make them black to keep it in line with the then-hot trend of blaxploitation flicks.
But Scorsese walked away and decided to keep the story set in Little Italy rather than Harlem, which turned out to be very good career news for Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, and the gang.
I wonder if Corman would have made Raging Bull about Smokin’ Joe Frazier.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 1, 2011