When it was announced last month that Martin Scorsese‘s long-developing dream project “Silence” was finally getting made, with a shoot next year in the works, we tempered our excitement. We had heard this before, more than once, and for a variety of reasons, the movie never happened. But today comes some great news, as not only is it moving forward, but the film has found its first actors.
Andrew Garfield and Ken Watanabe are now on board the film, according to a Variety sit down the with the filmmaker, who also reveals that “Silence” will be a Japaense-language film. An adaptation of Shusaku Endo‘s novel, the story will follow two 17th century Jesuit priests who face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and to spread the gospel of Christianity. Garfield will be playing the Portuguese Father Rodrigues, who goes to Japan to follow up on rumors that his mentor has abandoned the church, with Watanabe as his translator. Obviously, this will be a smaller scale, niche effort than the director’s past works, but it could also be somewhat of a genre flick, if viewed from a particular angle.
“Then again, it’s a thriller. Thriller meaning they are undercover,” he said. “I’m interested in this, whether it’s undercover priests or undercover cops.” Location scouting is underway, Robbie Robertson may reunite with the filmmaker to score the movie, Issei Ogata is also on board, and filming is aiming for July 2014.
While many will point to the once rumored cast of Daniel Day-Lewis, Benicio Del Toro and Gael Garcia Bernal, this is still a pretty solid round up of actors, and before Garfield was swinging through Manhattan, he earned attention for his turns in fare like “Boy A” and the “Red Riding” trilogy, so we’re excited to see what he’ll do here. And Watanabe has already proven his bonafides in pictures with Clint Eastwood, Christopher Nolan, Rob Marshall and more.
And for the one commenter who always drops in every time to remind us about the 1971 Japanese film version of “Silence,” directed by Masahiro Shinoda — nope, Scorsese hasn’t seen it.