Andrew Garfield and Ken Watanabe join Martin Scorsese’s Silence

Andrew Garfield

Somehow the idea of Martin Scorsese making a Japanese language film starring Andrew Garfield and Ken Watanabe doesn’t excite me as much as it should. But Martin Scorsese is extremely excited about adapting Shusaku Endo’s novel SILENCE, which is a pet project that he’s been working on for years since it recently got the go ahead to move forward. Andrew Garfield will be playing Rodrigues and Ken Watanabe will be playing his translator. You can read the full synopsis below. While speaking about the film with Variety, Martin Scorsese said “Then again, it’s a thriller. Thriller meaning they are undercover. I’m interested in this, whether it’s undercover priests or undercover cops”. Location scouting is underway, though no production start date has been set. For those in the know, SILENCE was adapted once before in a 1971 Japanese film.

The official synopsis from Wikipedia: Young Portuguese Jesuit, Sebastião Rodrigues (based on the historical figure Giuseppe Chiara) is sent to Japan to succor the local Church and investigate reports that his mentor, Fr. Cristóvão Ferreira, has committed apostasy. (Ferreira is a historical figure, who apostatized after torture and later married a Japanese woman and wrote a treatise against Christianity.) Fr. Rodrigues and his companion Fr. Francisco Garrpe arrive in Japan in 1638. There they find the local Christian population driven underground. Security officials force suspected Christians to trample on fumie, which are crudely carved images of Christ. Those who refuse are imprisoned and killed by anazuri (穴吊り), being hung upside down over a pit and slowly bled. Those Christians who do step on the image to stay hidden are deeply shamed by their act of apostasy. The novel relates the trials of the Christians and increasing hardship suffered by Rodrigues, as more is learnt about the circumstances of Ferreira’s apostasy. (Variety)


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