BERLIN (Reuters) - Martin Scorsese is keen to revive a cinematic partnership with Robert De Niro that goes back to "Mean Streets" nearly 40 years ago and says the project will be related to the mobster world.
The 67-year-old movie maker was at the Berlin film festival for the premiere Saturday of his latest picture "Shutter Island," his fourth collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio.
"Bob De Niro (and I) are talking about something that has to do with that world," Scorsese told reporters after a press screening of Shutter Island, where the audience reaction was decidedly muted.
"There's no doubt about that. We're working on something like that, but it's from the vantage point of older men looking back, none of this running around stuff."
Rumors that Scorsese may be reviving one of film's most successful collaborations have been rife for years, as fans look back with nostalgia to classics such as "Raging Bull," "Taxi Driver" and "Cape Fear."
The Hollywood heavyweights last worked together on "Casino" in 1995.
For now, attention is focused on Shutter Island, starring 35-year-old DiCaprio as U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels in a psychological thriller set on a wind-swept, rugged island that is home to a high security psychiatric hospital.
In the story based on a Dennis Lehane novel, he and his partner Chuck are brought in to hunt down a killer who has mysteriously escaped from her cell leaving no trace.
Daniels, traumatized by memories of the Nazi concentration camps he liberated as a U.S. soldier, becomes increasingly suspicious of a wider conspiracy and the boundaries between conflicting realities gradually blur.
Asked why the movie was not in the main competition line up in Berlin, Scorsese jokingly replied: "What if it didn't win?"
In Shutter Island, which hits U.S. theatres later this month, the director aims to recreate what he calls an atmosphere of paranoia and fear prevalent in 1950s America when he was growing up during the Cold War.
"I experienced the 50s first hand in New York City, the cold war, the paranoia, the secrecy," he said. "In cinema itself, the movies I would go and see reflected this."
For DiCaprio, Shutter Island was possibly the hardest part he has had to play for Scorsese, along with "The Aviator" in which he portrays the wealthy but increasingly deranged aviator and film maker Howard Hughes.
Asked why he kept coming back to Scorsese, he said: "You'd be a fool not to jump at the opportunity to work with somebody who I consider, and many consider to be the definitive director or our time. You'd be an idiot."
Editing by Louise Ireland