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!
Reader Feedback - 24 Comments
Sounds like it has potential. I may have to check out the source material in the near future. By the way, check out "The Mission" from 1986 sometime. Starred Robert DeNiro and Jeremy Irons as Jesuit missionaries in 18th century South America. Ennio Morricone did the score.
Mel Valentin on Feb 1, 2009
He wanted to do this project for a long time. I just hope he can pull it off this time. Afterwards "I heard you paint houses"!
Candy Castle on Feb 2, 2009
I have seen the mission and although the basic plot for this sounds similar, but i mean come on, the cast itself is wayyyyyyyyyyyy better than The Mission. Daniel Day Lewis and Benicio, it does not get better than that. This is one of the most exciting information i have got in ages. This movie out of nowhere has just jumped to the top of my list for most anticipated movies in the future. The fact that G.G. Bernal might star in it, makes it even better. Cant wait for more information on this project. Personally, im not a big fan of scorsese, gangs of new york was amazing, hated the departed (infernal affairs is way better) but i do enjoy his work, and hes not the kind of director who would mess up with such an amazing cast.
Aequitas on Feb 2, 2009
at #3.......the mission cast was "waaaaaaaaaay" better. i like DDL and BDT but i'll take deniro and irons. and i want to see shutter island really bad. i loved the book and hopefully the movie will be as good.
dan on Feb 2, 2009
Aren't the characters in the book portuguese? Those guys ain't portuguese.
Darunia on Feb 2, 2009
But they're damn good actors.
Movie Fan on Feb 2, 2009
"it seems like Scorsese's recent interest in this might have stemmed from immense critical success of John Patrick Shanley's Doubt." "Silence" has been listed as one of Scorsese's upcoming projects on IMDB since at least 2006, if not earlier, because I remember looking around the time that "The Departed" came out to see what else he had coming down the pipeline and "Silence" was one of those projects.
Liz on Feb 2, 2009
I'm so frigging excited! I was waiting for some casting news on this project. Of all the project's he has in the pipeline this was the one I was waiting for. Love Del Toro and Day-Lewis. And as for the Doubt thing... um Last Temptation of Christ? Scorsese's always been interested in religion, it plays a role in all of his films for the most part. Plus the book has nothing in common with Doubt(which was great) BTW this is news. I'm glad I can find something interesting on this site besides oodles of stuff on crappy comic book movies.
adrian on Feb 2, 2009
Scorsese's been trying to get this made forever. Also, it's written by a Japanese Catholic and is about Christians being persecuted, not doing the persecuting. While you might see struggles with faith, it's almost the opposite of showing the dark side of Christianity.
d on Feb 2, 2009
Del Toro, Lewis & Bernal...Can't Wait to see that. Scorsese is an amazing director, i really admire his work.
Fisherr on Feb 2, 2009
Winner combo there. waiting for more news about it.
Mario Tenorio on Feb 2, 2009
Scorsese already opened the doors to darker Christianity movies with The Last Temptation of Christ. It would be hard to make a bad movie with these people involved.
Paul on Feb 2, 2009
This is a huge rumor. I think this idea, as well as this specific cast, was mentioned at the same time as the release of There Will Be Blood. If it sticks, though, man that could be a great film.
Jake on Feb 2, 2009
This is HUGE! Don't you love great Actors with the Amazing Scorsese! Comment on this Buttons?
D-9 on Feb 2, 2009
benicio was great in the The pledge, Suspects, FaLIlV, Traffic and che. And who can forget him falling into the mixer/grinder in License to kill. Danny and Marty's contributions to film are too much to list. I will look forward to this.
Red --- Buttons on Feb 2, 2009
I've read the novel three times. I read a lot and have never read a novel 3 times. Never imagined anyone would take on a film adaptation and am so pleased that a director of this stature is going to do it.
Dale on Feb 3, 2009
Japanese legend Masahiro Shinoda has already adapted this to the screen in 1971...http://mubi.com/films/silence--2 His version is excellent I doubt Scorsese could do improve much.
Redlantern89 on Jun 10, 2011
ha ha 31 weird i just saw "The Mission" in my Spainish class a few days ago, I liked it. Now I hear about a movie that reminds me of it.
Silver on Feb 4, 2009
Scorsese continues to roam cluelessly in the world beyond his neighborhood. "---Paging John Huston!" "---Paging John Huston!" AMEN
DR DTX on Nov 20, 2009
goodness. You haven't read Endo's book and you're pretty sure this is about the dark side of Christianity. I think you must be kind of stupid. This book is one of the most important books that Endo wrote. It is profound and is about Christianity as it should be - with heroic figures who believe the world can be changed by following Christ. Scorsese has wanted to do this film for at least 15 years in the same way he wanted to do"The Last Temptation of Christ". Scorsese sees his vocation as filmmaker as one with his religious thought. He is not the kind of Christian who goes to church or lives as a nice person. He's a man of great spiritual depth. Whoever wrote this piece of gossip without 1. reading Endo or 2. understanding Scorsese's religious pursuits - could be termed more than ignorant - except I can't figure out what that term might be.
Old Mom on Jun 13, 2010
This really sounds promising, but I heard it airs only at 2013. So its a long time to fill with other awesome movies. Keep them coming! Paruresis
Paruresis on Jul 23, 2010
Reg: "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." Maybe you should take the time to read the book. While it struggles with the difficulties of faith in the face of persecution, probably the last thing it is about is the "violent and bitter side of Christianity." If anything, it is about the violent and bitter side of Buddhism, written from the pen of a Japanese Catholic. Maybe you should know what you're talking about before you post your next article.
Ken on Nov 30, 2010
Um, the book is about the horrific Japanese persecution of Christians, not the other way around. Japan went from having 200,000-400,000 Christians to completely wiping them out in only a few decades, through a campaign of torture and execution.
Rose on Jun 22, 2011
I hope they keep the the character's portuguese roots if not this movie will fail to remain accurate, i can see them changing from Cristovao Ferreira to Cristopher Something'' just because its a hard name to pronounciate
Duartejorge_93 on Sep 30, 2011
Sorry, new comments are no longer allowed.