Martin Scorsese’s epic film about Jesuit missionary priests in feudal Japan will have a limited award season run on December 23. The move shows that Paramount acknowledges the award-worthiness of the film.
After December, the studio plans to expand it in January although there are no specific dates that have been released yet. Paramount’s move with ‘Silence’ is reminiscent with how 20th Century Fox/Regency dealt with their Oscar-winning film ‘The Revenant.’ However, Paramount needs to find the right launch date because that is a crowded season as other studios try to take advantage of the holidays.
Deadline reports that Scorsese is trying to shorten Silence which is reported to be three hours long. When it makes its way to the theaters in December, it will find itself fielding off other heavyweights, such as Pedro Almodovar’s ‘Julieta,’ J.A. Bayona’s A Monster Calls, and Denzel Washington’s adaptation of August Wilson’s play ‘Fences.’
‘Silence’ is one of Scorsese’s passion projects taking up two decades to develop and boasts of a powerhouse cast and crew. The film is set in 17th century Japan and tells of a Jesuit missionaries played by Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, and Ciaran Hinds, who are in search of their missing mentor while propagating Christianity along the way. Screenplay is by Jay Cocks, who also worked with Scorsese on ‘Gangs of New York.’
At one point in time, Scorsese had considered Daniel Day-Lewis, Benicio Del Toro, and Gael Garcia Bernal, to play the lead roles. However, production date was always pushed aside and a series of other problems plagued the film including a lawsuit.
‘Silence’ is the fifth film released by Scorsese through Paramount pictures including ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and ‘Hugo.’ Paramount pictures had won the U.S. Release rights for the film in July 2014.
Scorsese wins as Best Director for ‘Silence,’ it will be his second after winning the coveted award in 2007 for ‘The Departed’ starring Jack Nicholson, Leonardo di Caprio, Matt Damon, and Mark Wahlberg. The film, on the other hand, has to vie with heavy contenders like Kenneth Lonergan’s family tragedy ‘Manchester By the Sea’ and Emma Stone/Ryan Gosling musical ‘La La Land.’
Photo Courtesy: Museum of Cinema/Flickr