Scorsese Breaks Silence

Adapting the Japanese novel

With The Departed about to enter cinemas, Martin Scorsese is already thinking about his next film. And the most likely candidate has been found.

He’s sticking with adaptations from Asia (The Departed, after all, is based on Hong Kong’s Infernal Affairs cop drama), taking on Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence. It’s something he’s been considering for a while – it was on his development slate before Departed arrived.

The story is set in 16th century Japan where Portuguese missionaries must contend with the feudal lords’ hatred of the religion and the violence directed towards priests. Their methods include forcing religious types to deny their faith, usually by having step on a “fumie”, or Christian image, such as a crucifix. Two Portuguese priests make the difficult journey to Japan to comfort converts and find the truth about a fellow holy man who apparently gave up his faith under duress.

Scorsese’s current plan is to shoot in Vancouver next summer.