Scorsese's 'Silence' Hints at Deeply Serious Reflection on Christian Persecution

"I pray but I am lost. Am I just praying to silence?"

"I pray but I am lost. Am I just praying to silence?" whispers Andrew Garfield's character in Martin Scorsese's upcoming passion project, Silence, depicting the persecution and violence against Spanish Jesuit priests in 17th century Japan.  

Released Wednesday, the film's trailer hints at a deeply reflective film about Christian suffering amidst persecution, a timely message in the age of ISIS.

Silence has been a passion project for Scorsese since the 1990's, having written a full-fledged draft with screenwriter Jay Cocks prior to Gangs of New York with the intention of directing it shortly after. Unable to secure proper funding, the movie fell into development hell for well over a decade, forcing actors Benicio Del Toro, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Gael Garcia Bernal to drop out amidst constant delays. They have been replaced here by Adam Driver (The Force Awakens), Liam Neeson (playing his second Jesuit priest since The Mission), and Andrew Garfield in yet another Christian role following this year's Hacksaw Ridge

Set for release in January 2017, this will mark Scorsese's third religious film after The Last Temptation of Christ and Kundun. No buzz has circulated yet of any Oscar nominations in store for the film or performances.

A world premiere of the film will take place at the Vatican next Tuesday.