Scorsese Directing Silence

The light is green for Martin Scorsese and Silence, the adaptation of Shusaku Endo‘s novel which the director has wanted to make for many years. We’ve talked about Scorsese directing Silence for years. Now financing is locked for the movie, Paramount is on board to distribute, and Silence will finally begin shooting later this month, in Taiwan.

Deadline reports that extra financiers, Fábrica de Cine and SharpSword Films, have come on board the project to complete the funding for the movie. So, yeah, even a director like Scorsese has to scrape up funding for a movie that isn’t likely to be a big box-office performer. That’s what the business is today.

Silence will star Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Tadanobu Asano. in the story of 17th-century Jesuit priests who attempt missionary work in Japan. The film will begin shooting on January 30. Jay Cocks (Gangs of New York) scripted, and Paramount will distribute domestically. That won’t be until 2016, however.

Scorsese said in a statement,

I’ve wanted to make Silence for almost two decades, and it is finally a reality. It is heartening to have adventurous partners like Fabrica and SharpSword to work with on this picture.

Here’s the description of Silence:

Young Portuguese Jesuit Sebastião Rodrigues is sent to Japan to succor the local Church and investigate reports that his mentor, Fr. Cristóvão Ferreira, has committed apostasy. (Ferreira is a historical figure, who apostatized after torture and later married a Japanese woman and wrote a treatise against Christianity.)

Fr. Rodrigues and his companion Fr. Francisco Garrpe arrive in Japan in 1638. There they find the local Christian population driven underground. Security officials force suspected Christians to trample on fumie, which are crudely carved images of Christ. Those who refuse are imprisoned and killed. The novel relates the trials of the Christians and increasing hardship suffered by Rodrigues, as more is learnt about the circumstances of Ferreira’s apostasy.

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