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Andrew Garfield and Ken Watanabe join Martin Scorsese's Japanese-language thriller Silence

05.07.2013

Good news for Scorsese fans, as his next project, SILENCE, has not only found financing for a June 2014 start, but has also landed a leading man in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN's Andrew Garfield, and a co-star with THE LAST SAMURAI's Ken Watanabe. Based on the novel by Shusaku Endo, the film will be a Japanese-language pic, and follow in the tradition of Scorsese's more personal work, like KUNDUN and THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST.

"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)"

Scorsese is aware of the difficulty in appealing ot mass audiences with religious stories that are smaller and less bombastic as some of his other efforts, but believes there is still appeal, saying:

“Then again, it’s a thriller. Thriller meaning they are undercover,” he says. “I’m interested in this, whether it’s undercover priests or undercover cops.”

Scorsese responded to whether or not he had any hesitation about making a film about Catholicism in a time of great debate and uproar over the church, Scorsese said:

“Not at all. Certainly, it’s a religious subject, but the mystery that I’m talking about, Rodrigues’ conflict with himself, and the essence of Christianity — which is something I believe in strongly — is timeless, and has to do with who we are as human beings.”

It sounds like a very appealing project to me, and at this point I'd trust Scorsese in an adaptation of Sesame Street. He no doubt has an angle for this and I'm beyond intrigued to see how he brings it to life.

SILENCE starts shooting next year.

Extra Tidbit: Anyone else get kind of an Apocalypse Now vibe from this?
Source: Variety

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