Martin Scorsese is set to world premiere his highly anticipated religious epic “Silence” in front of 400 priests at the Vatican this Thursday, but before doing so he’ll get the opportunity to go one-on-one with Pope Francis. As confirmed by an official Vatican press statement this morning, Scorsese and Pope Francis will meet at 8:45am in Rome before the latter has his regular weekly general audience. The duo are expected to discuss “Silence,” which follows two Jesuits priests on a mission to locate their mentor in late 17th century Japan.
The meeting is the culmination of a 28-year journey that found Scorsese leaving and returning to making his Catholic epic. During this time, Scorsese released “The Last Temptation of Christ” and was criticized by the Church for his inclusion of a dream sequence in which Jesus and Mary Magdalene have sex. The director was maligned by religious institutions, with the spokesman for the U.S. Catholic Church even lamenting, “I looked in vain for the message of love. Scorsese has given us an angry Christ, a bumbling Christ, a Christ more of this world than the next.”
“Silence” stars Liam Neeson, Adam Driver and Adam Garfield. Paramount Pictures is releasing the epic in theaters this Christmas.