Daniel Day-Lewis and Benecio Del Toro Go with Scorsese into SILENCE

     February 2, 2009

Written by Matt Goldberg

“Silence” is one those rare occasions where a film is being made of a real book and I’ve actually read that book. I read it in my Japanese History class in my freshman year of college (thanks Prof. DiCenzo!) and what I can remember about it is that it’s a lot like Hobbes (the philosopher, not the tiger) describes life: nasty, brutish, and (most importantly for a college student who’s a slow reader) short.

Martin Scorsese has had an adaptation of the book planned for some time but it looks like he’s determined to make it his follow up to “Shutter Island” (which should come out this fall) and is in negotiations with Daniel Day Lewis and Benecio Del Toro to star. That’s the thing about Martin Scorsese—he gets the powerhouse actors for his movies. Gael Garcia Bernal is also circling the project.

Now what do all of these actors have in common? None of them are Japanese. That’s because while the book takes place in 17th century Japan as two Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to the country to locate their mentor and to spread the gospel of Christianity. So may there be a role for some talented Japanese actors? What about Ken Watanabe? I haven’t had the privilege of seeing him be awesome since “Letters from Iwo Jima”.

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