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

Thompson on Hollywood By Nick Newman | Thompson on Hollywood July 15, 2014 at 3:11PM

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 at a small festival ahead of HBO's planned fall theatrical release, his next feature film "Silence" is prepping to start production.
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Martin Scorsese
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."

This article is related to: Martin Scorsese, News, Mick Jagger, Bobby Cannavale, Silence


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.