Martin Scorsese is finally preparing to film his long-gestating passion project, Silence, with Paramount in talks for U.S. distribution. Silence will tell the story of two Jesuit priests who travel to Japan to locate their mentor, who is accused of committing apostasy. Once there, the men witness the persecution and killing of Christians by the local officials. It is an adaptation of the 1966 Shusako Endo novel of the same name. The film has a tentative release set for November 2015, which would not surprisingly place it right in the thick of awards season.
The famous director has already procured a formidable cast that includes Liam Neeson (Non-Stop), Ken Watanabe (Godzilla), Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), and Adam Driver (recently cast as a villain in the upcoming Star Wars movie), with shooting expected to commence shortly in Taiwan. With Silence Scorsese will follow up last year’s awards contender The Wolf of Wall Street, a tale of high class hedonism and debauchery, with what is sure to be a more personal project for the director.
Though Scorsese may be better known for his unflinching look into crime and violence – most famously portrayed in films like Goodfellas, Casino, The Departed, and Mean Streets – themes of religion and faith have been just as much a mainstay in the 71 year-old’s career. Many of his films are loaded with religious imagery and subtext, while others – like The Last Temptation of Christ and Kundun – deal more overtly with religious and faith-based themes. Silence should certainly come as no surprise from a man whom was initially committed to dedicating his life to the priesthood.
For Paramount, a Scorsese collaboration is nothing new, having distributed the director’s last three movies, The Wolf of Wall Street, Hugo, and Shutter Island. Silence will scripted by Jay Cocks, who has also worked previously with Scorsese on Gangs of New York and The Age of Innocence.