Martin Scorsese announced last week that he will begin a new film based on the true story of HSBC. The movie, titled “Big Profits, Little Problems” is set to premier in the Fall of 2023. A reporter for EXTRA recently sat down with Scorsese and asked him about his upcoming movie.
SLATER: How did you come to write this script?
SCORSESE: I didn’t. I copied Matt Taibbi’s article in Rolling Stone. I mean, are you f*cking kidding me? I could never dream up something like that.
SLATER: Who is Matt Taibbi?
SCORSESE: HSBC is so powerful they told Homeland Security to f*ck off. This bank has been involved in high level international scams since 1865. Their laundered billions of dollars for Iran, North Korea, Hezbollah, Russia, Al-Qaeda, Mexican Drug cartels. Wow.
SLATER: I thought HSBC stood for Hot Sauce Blue Cheese?
SCORSESE: No. It’s a bank. And they were fined only 5 weeks pay and no one went to jail.
SLATER: How much is 5 weeks pay for you?
SCORSESE: Well, [laughs] you’ll just have to guess.
SLATER: 1,000 gold bars?
SLATER: Who do you have in mind for starring roles?
SCORSESE: I have a lot of ideas. The federal prosecutor, Jack Blum, is actually going to be played by the actor Jack Blum. They share the same name, so why not?
SLATER: Go on.
SCORSESE: Ben Affleck looked so good in Iran that he’ll be playing Saudia Arabia’s billionaire Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi. He was one of Al-Qaeda’s chief financiers and had very close ties with HSBC. The State Department told HSBC to end their relationship, but HSBC told them to piss off. How’s that for power?
SLATER: You said you’ve always wanted to work with Johnny Depp. Will he perhaps have a part in this movie?
SCORSESE: We’re in contract negotiation. Since he did such a great job playing Tonto he’ll be playing Héctor Luis Palma Salazar, the leader of the Sinaloa Drug Cartel. HSBC has “drive through banks” in Mexico. Basically, anyone can deposit any amount of cash and people in the US can have free access to it. That’s how they launder money.
SLATER: I’m going to HSBC in the morning to open an account.
SCORSESE: I have great plans for the guy named Everett Stern. He’s going to be played by Kurt Russell.
SLATER: Love Kurt Russell. Captain Ron inspired me to become an actor.
SCORSESE: Everett Stern was a college grad who was hired by HSBC to investigate money laundering. He wasn’t given any training and had no background in it. He uncovered thousands of fraudulent transactions all over the world. He blew the whistle to the FBI that the Tajideen brothers were laundering money through HSBC. The Tajideen brothers are major backers of Hezbollah. I mean, YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!
SLATER: If you get caught with an ounce of cocaine you go to jail.
SCORSESE: Exactly. Elizabeth Warren made headlines last week by grilling a federal prosecutor. She had this quote: “if you are caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good that you are going to go to jail. If it happens repeatedly, you may go to jail for the rest of your life. But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your bed at night”
SLATER: I love me some waffle dust.
SCORSESE: I love me some Elizabeth Warren (licks lips).