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THE DEPARTED

About The Production
"The Departed,” the gritty crime drama from director Martin Scorsese, takes us into the lives of two cops: Colin Sullivan, smart and unabashedly ambitious, appears to be on the fast track in the Massachusetts State Police Department's elite Special Investigations Unit, whose prime target is powerful Irish mob boss Frank Costello. Billy Costigan, street-smart and tough, is purported to have a violent temper that costs him his badge and eventually lands him back on the rough streets of South Boston, where he is recruited into Costello's ranks. But neither man is what he seems and, as they work at cross purposes, they are plunged into a dangerous game of cat and mouse in which the stakes could not be higher.

The story of "The Departed” is based on the 2002 crime thriller out of Hong Kong called "Infernal Affairs,” which achieved great success in Asia before coming to U.S. shores in 2004. An American version was soon in the works, with William Monahan writing the screenplay.

The screenwriter recalls, "I hadn't seen ‘Infernal Affairs,' and I didn't want to watch it before adapting the story. I worked from a translation of the Chinese script. There was a great central story around which I could create new characters. I loved the duplicity of the characters in the Chinese film, but my adaptation, thematically, is all about the engine of tragedy that is started when people depart from what they really should be doing with their lives.”

"‘Infernal Affairs' is a very good example of why I love the Hong Kong cinema, but ‘The Departed' is not a remake of that film,” states Martin Scorsese. "It was inspired by ‘Infernal Affairs' because of the nature of the story; however the world William Monahan created is very different from the Hong Kong film. When I received the script, it took me quite a while to read through it because I began visualizing the action and getting into the nature of the story and the characters. One of the things that hit me was that the depiction of the characters and their attitudes toward the world in which they live was so uncompromising. That's what really got me interested in directing the movie.”

Producer Graham King notes, "You could say ‘The Departed' takes Martin Scorsese back to his days of ‘GoodFellas' and ‘Mean Streets,' which is a genre he has been identified with in the past. But in this film, he's taking that genre and turning it into something new and different and original. That's what Marty does.”

"Working with Martin Scorsese was extraordinary,” Monahan says. "It was a privilege to see him put the film together in his mind as we were discussing the script. It's like having years of film school packed into each and every day.”

Monahan relates that he set "The Departed” in a world with which he was very familiar. "The project came about at a time when I was thinking about Boston, where I came from, and about the people I had lost in my own life. So it allowed me to explore themes that were very personal to me.”

Thomas B. Duffy, a 30-year veteran of the Massachusetts State Police, who served as a technical consultant for the film, reveals that the screenwriter's decision to center the film on the battle between the "Staties” and Boston's Irish mob has its basis in reality. "Certainly in ‘Southie,' the Irish mob dominated and controlled the city's underworld, at least from the early 1970s until just a few years ago. They were the pinnacle of the criminal world there.”

Collaborating for the third time with Scorsese, actor Leonardo DiCaprio comments, "As much as it is a gangster movie, ‘The Departed' is unlike anything Marty has ever done. It deals with a very different set of circumstances—not just that it involves the Irish underworld, but also the fact that it deals with the police force and the corruption there, as well. It is also set<

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