A little extra patience is all it takes, it seems. After the financial disappointment of “Hugo” reportedly divided Martin Scorsese and his producer Graham King, halting plans to bring his dream project “Silence” to the screen, we wondered whether the venture would ever recover given its long gestation, but it seems the European company responsible for “Il Postino” and “Life is Beautiful” has been waiting in the wings the entire time.
Niels Juul, the CEO of the recently revived Cecchi Gori Pictures, revealed in an interview with THR his financial backing of “Silence,” and also that Scorsese’s project is further along that initially thought: “It’s been in pre-production for a while.” Juul said, “We don’t know the schedule quite yet, but that’s definitely a signed deal and that would probably be our first feature back in the swing of things.” This hustle appears completely, but excitingly, incongruous to the general temperature before it, with King taking an $80 million loss on “Hugo” making the prospect of the period drama “Silence” an ever harder sell. With Cecchi Gori, a price tag hasn’t been mentioned yet, but with its historical and international setting, undoubtedly high-profile cast, and a company ready to back its acquisition, the number might remain a reason for King to shudder, even on the sidelines.
The project is a crucial one for Scorsese, clearly, but it is from the perspective of Juul that it takes on an even greater import. “Silence” represents an opportunity for Cecchi Gori, which he’s been CEO of for three years now, to revive its tarnished image after years of legal disputes with former presidents and mishandled funds. The company once saw American success with “Seven” and “A Bronx Tale,” and Juul is looking to Scorsese to match that feat once more, with “Silence” set to be the first production out of the gate for the company.
Promising as this all seems though, don’t expect news of a “Silence” release date just yet. Scorsese has “The Wolf of Wall Street” with Leonardo DiCaprio scheduled to shoot in August, and post-production/release on that will likely take some time. Still, following that, Scorsese seemingly has the path paved for him to bring his dream project to fruition, and we are excited to see it happen.