Andrew has finally signed up to something and it's a Scorsese film!
Martin Scorsese can finally give voice to “Silence.”
After two decades of false starts and near misses, the director can now look forward to shooting his long-gestating adaptation of Japanese novelist Shusaku Endo’s novel next summer.
Scorsese not only has secured the financing he needed and a production greenlight for June 2014, he’s landed a coveted leading man: The Amazing Spider-Man’s Andrew Garfield.
The project, which also will feature Ken Watanabe, is sure to catch the attention of international distributors at the upcoming Cannes market, which marks a new experience for the director, who has headed the Cannes jury and presented four movies in competition.
Sinking into a sofa in his midtown Manhattan office on a recent morning, Scorsese reflected on the planned pic, which he holds particularly dear to his heart. The subject matter — the very roots of religious faith — has long fascinated him, from his childhood aspiration to the priesthood to his controversial screen adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’ The Last Temptation of Christ, released in 1988.
“It’s something that has always been part of my life,” he says. “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.”
Garfield will star as Father Rodrigues, a 17th-century Portuguese Jesuit who travels to Japan with a fellow priest amid rumors that Rodrigues’ mentor has abandoned the Church. It is a moment of religious persecution in the Asian nation, with Christians forced to practice their faith clandestinely. Watanabe will portray the priests’ interpreter, alongside a Japanese cast that includes Issei Ogata (who played Emperor Hirohito in Alexander Sokurov’s The Sun). As with Temptation of Christ and his 1997 Dalai Lama biopic Kundun, a box office dud, the commercial prospects for Scorsese’s latest passion project are challenging.