The Catholic Church are not known to be huge movie buffs, but this time they are clearly making an exception. Silence, a new film from the iconic Martin Scorsese, will debut at the Vatican, as it explores two Portuguese Jesuit priests traveling to Japan to find their mentor.
Only to be opened in front of several hundred Jesuits as well as some special VIP guests. Before it hits New York and Los Angeles on the cusp of Christmas on December 23. The film's narrative is based on the novel by Shusaku Endo and could be considered something of a return to the subject matter after his 1988 Willem Dafoe drama The Last Temptation of Christ.
Quality Cast Could Convert The Cinema Parish
With Hacksaw Ridge and The Social Network star Andrew Garfield joining Star Wars: The Force Awakens own Adam Driver as the two tortured Portuguese Jesuit priests, they look to spread the gospel of Christianity with Father Cristóvão Ferreira. A character who is ironically played by the revenge specialist Liam Neeson. Scorsese must not think too much of the "white washing" controversy in Hollywood right now, casting not only an A-list trio but an all white trio at that. All for a narrative based in the 17th Century in Asia.
The $51m budget for the multi-language flick is quite the journey at 159 minutes with Scorsese describing it as his "passion project" that has been in development since 1990. If it doesn't play well to a room full of Christians though, The Departed creator might wonder what it was all for.
Francis Could Feature As Silence Gets A Big Opening Slot
Forget Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts on the red carpet. Pope Francis would be quite the coup for Scorsese if he could secure the man of the people himself at the Vatican. The 79-year old Argentine is far more open and progressive than his predecessors, but it is not known if the high profile Jesuit will be joining the party.
Then again, he has become the first Pope ever to be cast in a narrative film via Beyond the Sun, so perhaps all is not lost. Don't expect Star Wars or Transformers though to ever get a Vatican opening in the future. Especially with the institution only holding screenings for films with a topical concern for the Church.