It seems like we've been waiting for our first glimpse of footage from Martin Scorsese's latest project, "Silence," for ages, but at long last, Paramount has finally dropped the first trailer for the film, and it's nothing short of stunning.
The film, based on the novel by Shûsaku Endô, takes place in the seventeenth century and tells the story of two Jesuit priests who face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and propagate Christianity. This is a project that has been on Scorsese's plate for a long time, with the director originally signing on all the way back in 1990, but after he decided to direct a number of other projects instead, and due to a subsequent lawsuit for breach of contract, it took until the last couple of years for him to finally get around to making the film.
The cast is another interesting point of note. The film was originally slated to star three-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro, but due to the constant delays, they dropped out and were eventually replaced with Andrew Garfield, Academy Award nominee Liam Neeson, and Adam Driver. It will certainly be interesting to see how accepting audiences are to this ensemble, particularly due to the fact that most probably know Garfield for his recent portrayal of Spider-Man and Driver as the villainous Kylo Ren in the most recent "Star Wars" film (and that's not to mention Neeson's transformation into an action star).
Obviously "Silence" is already being deemed an awards contender, but then again, all you have to do is mention the name "Scorsese" and there's automatic Oscar buzz. However, given that five out of the last six narrative theatrical features he's done have gone on to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, it seems a fair bet that his latest endeavor will join that group in just a couple of months.
Will the extremely long wait have been worth it? We'll just have to wait until the film starts screening for awards consideration in the coming weeks to find out.
"Silence" opens in limited theaters on December 23rd, followed by an expanded release in January 2017.