After The Wolf of Wall Street, Scorsese refused to work on anything else until Silence was given voice.
Martin Scorsese seems to do it all—and to do it all well. On top of being a cinephile with an encyclopedic knowledge of obscure film details, his own impressive filmmaking career of over 50 years includes producing and directing everything from docs to features to television, garnering almost 200 major award nominations.
That’s why we take some heart in knowing that even Scorsese, one of cinema’s modern greats, has struggled to get a project made. We’ve all been there: films waylaid by re-writes, struggles to retain lead talent, lawsuits. Now we can say we have something in common with Scorsese, who has hit hurdle after hurdle in the nearly three-decade attempt to create Silence, which ran into all of the above examples and more. (There were 15 years of rewrites alone!)
Fortunately for fans, Scorsese’s film adaptation of Japanese author Shusaku Endo’s masterful 1966 novel about persecuted Jesuit missionaries will be released later this month. The film, starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, and Liam Neeson, has already been screened in Vatican City with the Pope himself. It hits theaters just after the opening of a new retrospective exhibit of Scorsese’s life and work at the Museum of the Moving Image in the director’s hometown of Queens, New York.
The video below by Fandor Keyframe details some elements of the seemingly endless journey taken to get Silence made before production finally began early last year:
Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/194748880