May 9, 2013 at 6:43 pm #101400
So I’m surprised no one is talking about this, since significant casting news was announced yesterday. And anything with Scorsese is a huge deal, especially a passion project like this one. I’m actually more interested to see what he does with this film than Wolf of Wall Street. It actually reminds me of what Clint Eastwood wanted to do with Letters from Iwo Jima, telling the story through the Japanese language. If there is a thread for this project–I couldn’t find it–please delete this. Just starting the conversation:
Andrew Garfield(!!!) and Ken Watanabe are onboard (from Variety):
Garfield aboard, helmer will make his passion project on the ‘essence’ of
Chief Film Critic
decades of false starts and near misses, the director can now look forward to
shooting his long-gestating adaptation of Japanese novelist Shusaku Endo’s
novel next summer.
only has secured the financing he needed and a production greenlight for June
2014, he’s landed a coveted leading man: “The Amazing Spider-Man’s” Andrew
which also will feature Ken Watanabe, is sure to catch the attention of
international distributors at the upcoming Cannes market, which marks a new
experience for the director, who has headed the Cannes jury and presented four
movies in competition.
a sofa in his midtown Manhattan office on a recent morning, Scorsese reflected
on the planned pic, which he holds particularly dear to his heart. The subject
matter — the very roots of religious faith — has long fascinated him, from his
childhood aspiration to the priesthood to his controversial screen adaptation
of Nikos Kazantzakis’ “The Last Temptation of Christ,” released in 1988.
something that has always been part of my life,” he says. “It’s difficult for
people to understand who are not part of that world that I grew up in, which
was Roman Catholicism in New York City in the 1950s. I was impressed enough to
try to become part of that world, and realized at the age of 15 or 16 that it
was much tougher, much more complicated than I thought … in terms of vocation.”
will star as Father Rodrigues, a 17th-century Portuguese Jesuit who travels to
Japan with a fellow priest amid rumors that Rodrigues’ mentor has abandoned the
Church. It is a moment of religious persecution in the Asian nation, with
Christians forced to practice their faith clandestinely. Watanabe will portray
the priests’ interpreter, alongside a Japanese cast that includes Issei Ogata
(who played Emperor Hirohito in Alexander Sokurov’s “The Sun”). As with
“Temptation of Christ” and his 1997 Dalai Lama biopic “Kundun,” a box office
dud, the commercial prospects for Scorsese’s latest passion project are challenging.
admits that the mostly Japanese-language production is meant for a smaller
audience than his hits “Shutter Island,” “The Departed” and “The Aviator,” but
suggests, “Then again, it’s a thriller. Thriller meaning they are undercover,”
he says. “I’m interested in this, whether it’s undercover priests or undercover
scouting is still under way for the production, which is being co-financed by
Emmett/Furla Films and Belgian producer Paul Breuls’ Corsan Films. Scorsese
hints that a veteran collaborator, singer-songwriter Robbie Robertson, may come
onboard for the soundtrack.
“He and I
started talking about this a year and a half ago, before I started ‘Wolf,’
about ideas for certain kinds of sounds,” said Scorsese, who is busy editing his
latest film “The Wolf of Wall Street,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
first read Endo’s novel 25 years ago, when Archbishop Paul Moore sent it to him
following a screening of “Last Temptation of Christ” held for New York
religious readers. He recalls being struck by the book’s “complex simplicity,”
and its sense of “cutting away all the trappings, cutting away the dogma,
cutting away everything and dealing with the very essence of … you could say
Christianity, you could say Jesus.” Added the director: “It seems to have been
a great idea, but can it be implemented? And if it is, it seems that it has to
be on an individual level, in how one behaves, in how one treats other people
in one’s own lives.” (Curiously, Scorsese, a voracious cinephile, admits he
never saw the 1971 Japanese film version of “Silence,” directed by nonagenarian
immediately after reading the book, Scorsese began working on an adaptation
with frequent screenwriting partner Jay Cocks, but other projects interrupted
the process, and the script wasn’t completed until 1996. By then, Scorsese
observes, “the landscape of Hollywood had changed.”
recent picture at the time, “Casino,” had performed solidly at the box office
($116 million worldwide), and was made with the full support of its studio
backer, Universal Pictures. “But ultimately, when the film was released, it was
clear that it no longer pays for studios that are owned by major corporations
to make a $50-$60 million profit on a movie,” Scorsese said. “They want to make
more. So that was the end of that kind of picture for me.”
In the two
decades since, Scorsese, like many of his generational colleagues (Woody Allen,
Francis Ford Coppola, William Friedkin), has depended largely on independent
financing, much of it from longtime patron Graham King, who produced/and or
co-financed “Gangs of New York,” “The Aviator,” “The Departed” and “Hugo.” King
has a stake in “Silence,” which he helped shepherd since 2001, but his ultimate
involvement in the production is uncertain. “It’s an issue of what makes sense
at that time,” said Scorsese, whose frequent collaborator Emma Koskoff (a
producer on “Wolf of Wall Street” and executive producer on “Hugo”) will
produce “Silence,” along with Irwin Winkler, Randall Emmett, George Furla,
Vittorio Cecchi Gori and Barbara De Fina.
Asked whether he has any hesitation making a film about
Catholicism at a moment when the Catholic Church has been making its most
unflattering headlines since the reformation, Scorsese said: “Not at all.
Certainly, it’s a religious subject, but the mystery that I’m talking about,
Rodrigues’ conflict with himself, and the essence of Christianity — which is
something I believe in strongly — is timeless, and has to do with who we are as
human beings.”May 9, 2013 at 6:49 pm #101402
“Garfield will star as Father Rodrigues, a 17th-century Portuguese Jesuit who travels to Japan…”
Uh-huh. Well, we’ll see how Scorsese and his vision wrangles with their influx during that time…..
“Scorsese admits that the mostly Japanese-language production is meant for a smaller audience than his hits “Shutter Island,” “The Departed” and “The Aviator,”
Yes well, what a thing to admit…..
I have some serious reservations about this. But then again, I have watched all of Scorsese’s available endeavors and I’m not likely to miss this one, if all goes well and it’s released. I think, the film has the potential to make me angry. Lol.May 9, 2013 at 6:56 pm #101403
I have some serious reservations about this. But then again, I have watched all of Scorsese’s available endeavors and I’m not likely to miss this one, if all goes well and it’s released. I think, the film has the potential to make me angry. Lol.
That makes sense. I don’t think Scorsese has as strong a range as some of his contemporaries do, especially with regard to his period films. Nonetheless, I’m interested to see what happens.May 9, 2013 at 7:02 pm #101404
I know he has been trying to get this off the ground for a while now, so I’m interested. I’ more interested in him doing personal projects which he believes in today than trying to emulate his greatest classics in newer, lesser versions or just vying for an Oscar.May 9, 2013 at 7:17 pm #101405
Me too. Glad he has the Oscar behind him, so now he can do what he wants with this film. Some of those efforts in the 2000s certainly can speak to your point “just vying for an Oscar.” I’m not really a fan of The Departed and am not that excited for Wolf of Wall Street, so I hear you when you say you’re not that interested to see him trying to recapture what worked in his classics.May 9, 2013 at 7:55 pm #101406
Glad to hear about andrew garfield !!! I was afraid he would get lost in spiderman territory since he hasn´t done much lately. He really needed a great post TSN role and it can´t get better than this! Let´s just hope this carries him to the nomination (stolen of course) he didn´t get for the social network. He absolutely deserves awards attention asap.
Don´t know much about the project but I´m glad to see scorsese leave america anf for a project that he is apparently very passionately about (not that he isn´t ever)May 9, 2013 at 9:38 pm #101407
I wish i could speed time up, i wanna see this now. A passion project from a masterful director usually can produce something extraordinary! Two prime examples off the top of my head are, Schindlers List from Spielberg and The Tree of Life from Terrence Malick. Im sure theyre a ton more, but hopefully the point was illustrated well enough. Scorsese usually brings out something really special in his leading men. So i expect the wonderful but unfortunately grossly underrated Ken Wantanbe and the bright young star Andrew Garfield to be amazing!May 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm #101408
Glad to see that he is not slowing down since he finally won the Oscar. Shutter Island, Hugo – also should have won him an Oscar, Wolf of Wall Street and now this.
Hopefully he can turn his passion project into something beyond amazing.May 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm #101409
I hope so too. Actually I find I LOVE his music/bands tributes as well.
I do have this marginal fear however, that Marty might begin channelling von Trier, which is wonderful for some, and lately, Malick……not that I dont appreciate a director doing whatever he wants. If he’s going through a ‘phase’, I just hope he doesnt take it out on us.May 10, 2013 at 2:47 pm #101410
So happy for Garfield! So glad a talented, good looking fellow like himself is getting high class work with Scorsese.October 23, 2014 at 10:03 am #101411
Looking forward to this! Excited…October 23, 2014 at 3:19 pm #101412
Not the biggest Scorsese fan but I do believe he was snubbed for Shutter Island. Happy about Ken Wantanbe (who I felt should have won awards for The Last Samurai).October 23, 2014 at 4:13 pm #101413
Is this actually shooting? I thought Scorsese was tied up with a mini-series about music in the 70s (?) with Juno Temple.October 23, 2014 at 4:22 pm #101414
Is this actually shooting? I thought Scorsese was tied up with a mini-series about music in the 70s (?) with Juno Temple.
I thought I remember reading that it won’t start shooting until about February-ish. Sadly, I doubt Scorsese will have it done by 2015’s end.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.