I just checked my calendar. It’s no longer April Fool’s Day. But how else do you explain a story that simply has to be a practical joke? Please tell me that this isn’t true, that Hollywood wants to make a ‘Raging Bull’ sequel without either Martin Scorsese or Robert De Niro.

Heck, even with them involved it’s a terrible idea. And yet, MovieHole is claiming that casting is underway on ‘Raging Bull II,’ and the production will begin in June. The film will be based on a book by legendary fighter Jake LaMotta (with Chris Anderson and Sharon McGehee) that continues to explore the rage and drive that benefitted the boxer in the ring.

Billed as both a prequel and a sequel, ‘Raging Bull II’ will address times in LaMotta’s life that occur before and after the events in Scorsese’s masterpiece, and will try and bring a more complete picture of LaMotta as a person.

Listen, that’s great and all, but no. Stop. This is a terrible idea. Certain movies just need to be left alone. No sequel. No prequel. Stop trying to capitalize on a popular title. We don’t need more LaMotta, and we really don’t need it if Scorsese’s not tackling it.

Right now, William Forsythe (’88 Minutes’) has inherited LaMotta’s gloves for the production. And director Martin Guigui is on the hunt for: a young LaMotta; an actor to play LaMotta’s father, Guissepe; young and old versions of Jake’s childhood friend, Rick Rosselli; Sally Carlton, Jake’s girlfriend and later wife; and Father O’Doulin, the head of a reform school who tries to sexually molest the angry young man. That last one is described as a “great cameo role.”

I’m skeptical. And I’ll remain skeptical until ‘Raging Bull II’ hits the theaters. What about you? Are you interested in the further adventures of Jake LaMotta? Or does this sound like ‘Rocky 5’ all over again?

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