The first trailer for Martin Scorsese’s Silence has arrived, in advance of its nearing (and only recently announced) release date. The 130 second-long “teaser” sees Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, and Liam Neeson playing Portuguese Jesuit Priests (Father Sebastião Rodrigues, Father Francisco Garrpe, and Father Cristóvão Ferreira, respectively…of course, they’re just speaking English with vaguely European accents.)
In the film, adapted from the 1966 novel by Shusaku Endo (it’d been made into a film in 1971, as well), Garfield and Driver are doing missionary work as they wander through 17th century Japan to find their mentor-of-the-cloth, played by Neeson. From the way the trailer depicts the experience at least, neither them nor the people they’re attempting to convert end up being particularly happy about their presence. (But the fact that the film is premiering at the Vatican makes you wonder exactly how Passion of the Christ-ily Catholic its actual message will be.) It takes place following the Catholic Shimabara Rebellion, and that rebellion’s defeat (allegedly 37,000 rebels and their allies were beheaded), which led to a ban on Christianity.
The project has actually been gestating since 1990, and for various reasons it never came to be until now. The closest was in 2009, when it seemed like Benicio Del Toro, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Gael García Bernal would be the stars of the film, but then Scorsese got caught up in, well, everything he’s made since then. In writing up the trailer, the Guardian asserted that “Silence appears to be a summary of Scorsese’s own experience of faith,” given the director’s own Catholic background, and the fact that he initially considered becoming a priest before be became… the guy who directed Taxi Driver and Wolf of Wall Street.
Watch the trailer:
The film will be out December 23.