Martin Scorsese Is Adapting a Controversial Missionary Novel

Legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese chose an interesting project to follow up his Academy Award-nominated look at debauched brokers, The Wolf of Wall Street. He’s now adapting the acclaimed—and controversial—book about Christian missionaries, Silence.

Based on the 1966 novel by author Shusaku Endo, the film tells the story of two Jesuit missionaries who face unimaginable persecution, including watching their own congregants being tortured, while bringing Christianity to 1800s Japan. The book’s somewhat ambiguous theology and disturbing imagery has made it into a best-selling, but also highly debated look at faith, prayer and the Gospel.

At a press conference at Los Cabos International Film Festival, Liam Neeson (who stars alongside Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) told reporters that the intensity of the story was ever-present on Scorsese’s set. “He requires absolute silence on the set—if he hears one tiny sound, it shatters it for him.” The movie hits theaters later this year.

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