As of late, it would be fairly to easy to take for granted the massive talent of actor Liam Neeson, what with all the Takens and Clash of the Titan-like films that have peppered his resumé in recent years. It therefore comes with a certain excitement to hear the news that the Irish-born actor (who earned an Oscar nomination for his performance in Schindler’s List twenty years ago) is set to take part in Silence, the latest film in development for director Martin Scorsese, who is currently enjoying duel producing and directing Oscar nominations for the hot potato hit The Wolf of Wall Street.
Silence, which is scheduled to begin filming at some point later this year, is based on Shûsaku Endô’s novel and tells the story of 17th century Jesuit priests and their attempt to bring Christianity into Japan. Andrew Garfield, who parlayed his critical championed performance in The Social Network into his part on the revamped Spider-Man franchise, stars alongside an already announced slate that includes Adam Driver (HBO’s Girls, Inside Llewyn Davis) and Ken Watanabe (who earned an Oscar nomination for his supporting performance opposite Tom Cruise in the 2003 film The Last Samurai.) The announcement of Neeson marks another formidable mention for the film that will likely enter the awards race as a 2015 competitor. Interestingly, this marks another potentially controversial movie by Scorsese (who’s likely still coming down from the frenzy The Wolf of Wall Street inspired), who has tackled provocative religious terrain in his films before, particularly in his 1988 classic The Last Temptation of Christ. The film is being written by Jay Cocks, who has previously collaborated with Scorsese on Gangs of New York and The Age of Innocence.
Neeson will remain a presence in varied projects until Silence rears its head into cinemas. Neeson provides vocals for The Lego Movie (out this week) and stars in the upcoming thriller Non-Stop, co-starring Julianne Moore and current Oscar nominee Lupita Nyong’o, which opens at the end of this month. He will also co-star in the summer comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West, which stars and was directed by Family Guy creator and last years’ Academy Awards emcee Seth MacFarlane, and has Taken 3, his signature franchise, in the future.