Paramount has premiered the first trailer for Martin Scorsese’s religious epic Silence. The movie is based on a 1966 novel by Japanese author Shūsaku Endō, and deals with Portuguese Jesuit missionaries (Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver) in Japan who go on a quest to find a renegade priest (Liam Neeson) who has denounced his faith.
Adapting the novel has long been a dream project for Scorsese (he described it once as an “obsession”) and the project has been in the works since the early ’90s. He was actually sued in 2014 for failing to film the movie after his Dalai Lama coming-of-age story Kundun in 1997, and has put off production on the script multiple times. In the late 2000s, he got a false start with a completely different cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Benicio del Toro, and Gael García Bernal.
While the Garfield/Driver/Neeson combo seems a bit of a step down from the original personnel, the preview offers a glimpse at Scorsese’s typically stunning visual sense, with forest and seaside vistas, and a very expensive quantity of extras. The only thing that scans as questionable are Garfield and Driver’s accents.
Silence premieres in select theaters on December 23, after a premiere … at the Vatican. Watch the trailer below.