Andrew Garfield to Lead Scorsese's Gestating Adaptation of 'Silence'
Just last month, news surfaced that Martin Scorsese was finally going to shoot his long-gestating adaptation of of Silence, based on the novel by Shusako Endo. Financing had been secured Emmettt/Furla Films and Paul Breuls and his Corsan Films to allow production to begin in Taiwan in July of 2014, but the official start date was contingent on a cast. Now Variety has word that production has been greenlit for June 2014 instead, and The Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield will be leading the film that also has Ken Watanabe attached to a role and will also take Scorsese to Cannes to secure international distribution.
For those who haven't heard of this project before, the story 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. The period sees religious persecution running rampant with Christians forced to practice their faith in secret. Garfield will play Father Rodrigues, "who travels to Japan with a fellow priest amid rumors that Rodrigues’ mentor has abandoned the Church," while Watanabe will play his interpreter. The other Jesuit priest has yet to be cast, but we'll likely hear more soon.
Scorsese has wanted to make this film for over 20 years, and now it's finally coming together. The director says, "It’s something that has always been part of my life. It’s difficult for people to understand who are not part of that world that I grew up in, which was Roman Catholicism in New York City in the 1950s. I was impressed enough to try to become part of that world, and realized at the age of 15 or 16 that it was much tougher, much more complicated than I thought … in terms of vocation.” Keen observers will note there's always been some kind of religious influence, whether subtle or obvious, in Scorsese's films from The Departed to Taxi Driver and more. We're just happy to finally see this film come together.