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Martin Scorsese Stays Busy as Paramount Targets Awards-Friendly 'Silence' Date

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by Nick Newman
July 15, 2014 3:11 PM
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Martin Scorsese

At 71, no one keeps up with the relentlessly energetic Martin Scorsese. Seven months after "The Wolf of Wall Street" opened before earning a Best Picture nomination — and just after his latest documentary, "The New York Review of Books: A 50 Year Argument" premiered as a work-n-progress at the Berlinale ahead of HBO's planned fall theatrical release, his next feature film "Silence" is prepping to start production in Taiwan.

Paramount has nabbed Scorsese's long-gestating drama for a planned awards-friendly November 2015 release date, which is no surprise. The studio run by his longtime manager Brad Grey released "Wolf," "Hugo," and "Shutter Island." But "Silence" has never been a commercial sure thing. The director has wanted to tell this story, adapted by Jay Cocks from Shūsaku Endō’s revered 1966 novel about an undercover investigation into a Christian community in Japan, since the early ‘90s. After several false casting moves, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver now star as 17th-century Jesuit priests sent to Japan in search of their mentor, Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson), who has supposedly left his calling. Now, with a number of backers (including Emmett/Furla and Paramount), the film is finally coming together.

But that’s not the sole extent of Scorsese's efforts. He's directing another pilot for frequent collaborator Terence Winter (Toh! interview with the "Wolf" writer and "Boardwalk Empire" creator here). Less crime-permeated than their past efforts, this one stars "Boardwalk" villain Bobby Cannavale as a ‘70s New York music producer looking to mine something from his city’s music scene. Olivia Wilde, Juno Temple, and Ray Romano also star. The involvement of Mick Jagger (Scorsese directed the Stones doc "Shine a Light") suggests the true grit they’re chasing.

As for the Bill Clinton documentary, that's currently in post-production. No release is mapped out for that title — especially as this massive effort will “explore his perspectives on history, politics, culture and the world.” Sound like a lot? Not for the juggling master--it’s only the third-most-prominent developing project. Unless his Robert De Niro reunion "The Irishman" is coming after "Silence."

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