Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio Del Toro to Star in Martin Scorsese's Silence
by Alex Billington
February 1, 2009
How's that for one hell of an exciting cast! We've heard quite a damn bit about different Martin Scorsese projects that he could take on after he finishes Shutter Island, but he's intent on shooting an adaptation of Shusaku Endo's Silence next. Starring in the film will be Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio Del Toro, if Scorsese indeed gets his way, and it's also looking like Gael Garcia Bernal will star alongside of those two in Silence. The drama is set in the 17th century and focuses on two Jesuit priests that face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and to spread the gospel of Christianity.
Scorsese doesn't have a studio for this project yet but is working with producer Graham King to develop the film. King's GK Films will be financing the project, which is expected to begin production sometime later this year in New Zealand. Graham King and Scorsese previously worked together on The Departed, The Aviator and Gangs of New York. Scorsese last cast Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York and The Age of Innocence, but he has never worked with Benicio Del Toro or Gael Garcia Bernal before this. The screenplay was written by Jay Cocks, of Gangs of New York and The Age of Innocence previously as well.
I'm not at all familiar with Shusaku Endo's novel, but I must say it seems like Scorsese's recent interest in this might have stemmed from immense critical success of John Patrick Shanley's Doubt. I can't say this with complete confidence, but I think Doubt has opened the doors for the darker side of Christianity in Hollywood, meaning Scorsese doesn't have to shy away from showing the more violent and bitter side of Christianity, which it sounds like Silence will be all about. Obviously it's set in a completely different time period, but there is still a fascinating story to be told. I'm very excited to hear more about this!