After nearly 20 years of false starts, Deadline reports that a Martin Scorsese passion project has finally secured its funding. Silence, based on the Shusaku Endo novel about Jesuit missionaries facing persecution in 17th-century Japan, will begin production in Taiwan on January 30. Fábrica de Cine and SharpSword Films have now committed to financing the movie, which is being targeted for a 2016 release by Paramount Pictures. In a statement, Scorsese said, “I’ve wanted to make Silence for almost two decades, and it is finally a reality.”
The last time it took this long for Scorsese to get a project together was Gangs Of New York, which the director tried to make with The Clash in the late ’70s and finally made it to the screen in 2002 with Daniel Day-Lewis and Scorsese’s then-newfound muse Leonardo DiCaprio. Amazingly, DiCaprio won’t appear in Silence, and will be presumably sitting on a jet ski in Ibiza with a model while filming is under way. After going through a Gangs Of New York-style set of permutations over the years, the cast of Silence now includes Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, and Ichi The Killer and Thor actor Tadanobu Asano, replacing Ken Watanabe as, we hope, a guy who keeps shushing everyone.