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Martin Scorsese: I’ll Direct More ‘Boardwalk Empire’ If I’m Able

”What’s happened at HBO was what we hoped for in the mid-’60s when films were being made for TV“

Martin Scorsese, one the executive producers of HBO's upcoming prohibition-era gangster epic "Boardwalk Empire" and the director of its pilot, says he'll do more episodes if he can.

The Oscar-winning director appeared at the HBO presentation at the annual TCA summer press tour Saturday via satellite from London.

Asked about directing more "Boardwalk Empire,"  Scorsese said he "would like to very much" if he can work around various "scheduling issues" caused by his other projects.

Scorsese said working with HBO was an opportunity to experience creative freedom and "long form developing" that hadn't been available to filmmakers prior to the emergence of the distinctive premium cable fare like "The Sopranos" that HBO began airing just prior to the start of the last decade.

"What's happened in the past nine or 10 years, specifically at HBO, was what we hoped for in the mid-'60s when films were being made for television at first. We hoped that there would be this type of freedom … and that didn't happen," Scorsese said.

"Sopranos" writer Terence Winter worked with Scorsese as the creator of "Boardwalk Empire," based on Nelson Johnson's biography of real-life Atlantic City kingpin Nucky Johnson, portrayed by Steve Buscemi.

Winter said he was presented with "Empire" by executive producers Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson. He said he promised them he would turn the book into a TV series once he learned that Scorsese was attached to the project.

"I assure you I will find a series here," Winter said to Wahlberg and Levinson. 

Season one of "Boardwalk Empire" premieres Sept. 19. So far, HBO has ordered 12 episodes of the show, but Winter said he hopes the show can run "for decades."

"The '20s itself, just as a backdrop, there's just so much material there … It's almost an epic novel,  I hope, you know, god-willing we'll have the opportunity to do that," Winter said. 

Previously: Starz Shows Off 'Camelot' + New ' Torchwood, ' Spartacus' Projects