Heavyweight Hollywood director Martin Scorsese is one step closer to bringing his long-awaited historical drama Silence to fruition following reports that he is negotiating distribution rights.
Scorsese has reportedly sparked the interest of Paramount, amid tentative plans for the film to be released in November 2015 - perfectly timed for Oscars consideration.
It stars Briton Andrew Garfield of Spiderman fame as the lead, alongside Irish Hollywood regular Liam Neeson, Adam Driver from Girls and Frances Ha and The Last Samurai actor Ken Watanabe.
As Deadline reports, filming is expected to begin in Taiwan later this year.
The movie is an adaptation of Japanese author Shusaku Endo’s 1966 book of the same name – widely considered to be his magnum opus.
The 10 best films of all time
The 10 best films of all time
1/10 Citizen Kane (1941)
Orson Welles is trying so hard to make a “great” film. He is using every technique at his disposal - deep focus cinematography, flashbacks, tricks with sound borrowed from his radio work. In spite of all the formal trickery, it’s still a film with huge pathos
2/10 Taxi Driver (1976)
This is an adolescent film, full of shock tactics and posturing on behalf of both director Martin Scorsese and writer Paul Schrader but it possesses extraordinary, miasmatic power
3/10 The Searchers (1956)
John Ford’s vicious revenge western ends in ambiguous but very affecting fashion - like John Wayne’s character Ethan Edwards, it’s not a film that makes any attempt to ingratiate itself, and is all the moving as a result
4/10 Vertigo (1958)
Hitchcock’s endlessly fascinating, wildly overdetermined film works both as a psychological thriller and as a study of love, loss and self-deception
5/10 Persona (1966)
Ingmar Bergman’s boldest and most experimental film boasts extraordinary performances from its two female leads, Liv Ullmann and Bibi Andersson
6/10 La Regle Du Jeu (1939)
“The awful thing about life is this: everyone has their reasons,” runs the most famous line from Jean Renoir’s country house drama made on the eve of the Second World War. Not the most flashy piece of filmmaking from a formal point of view but few other movies have the richness of characterisation found here
7/10 Barry Lyndon (1975)
Stanley Kubrick’s most emotional film. It’s exquisitely crafted and makes extraordinary use of natural light. Kubrick combines Hogarth-style bawdiness and satire with a very dark drama about ambition dashed, bereavement and heartbreak
8/10 Tokyo Story (1953)
Ozu’s deceptively simple but profound drama about family ties. Once you’ve seen it, you’ll never neglect your mum and dad again
9/10 Rome, Open City (1945)
A neo-realist classic that benefits from the extraordinarily straitened circumstances in which it was made
10/10 The Gold Rush (1925)
The one in which Chaplin eats his boots...
It follows the story of a 17-century Portuguese Jesuit priest; a missionary who is tasked with taking Christianity to Japan but who faces wicked religious persecution while there. One of its central themes explores a ‘silent’ God in the face of adversity.
It is a project that Scorsese has been willing to start for more than three decades.
It has been financed by Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, which also has upcoming films starring Bruce Willis, Vin Diesel and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Corsan Entertainment is also reportedly co-financing, while the script has been written by Gangs of New York writer Jay Cocks.
Last year, Scorsese said that Silence would be a “suspenseful film, with elements of a thriller,” with the personal project requiring a “smaller approach, more internal.”
“The subject matter is very close to my heart,” he told Total Film at Cannes in 2013, where he was understood to be trying to secure funds for the production. “I’ve been working on it since I first read the book in 1989.”