December 22, 2016
2015 and 2016 were the years that Faith films went mainstream in the United States. These fairly low-budget, high-profit movies have made a big splash in America over the past couple of years. When the latest Kendrick Brothers film “War Room” reached #1 at the box office, the movement could no longer be ignored. Numerous high-quality “message movies” (Woodlawn, Risen, The Young Messiah, God is Not Dead 2, Miracles from Heaven, etc.) followed over the next few months and peaked into the Top 5 in attendance. It was only a matter of time until the marquee actors and directors decided to join in. Silence, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Liam Neeson, is scheduled to be released later this year. So is this epic drama being produced because faith films are popular and profitable now or are there some passion and principle behind this production?
Here is the story from The Playlist:
You might think that a filmmaking legend on the scale of Martin Scorsese wouldn’t have any trouble walking into any studio around town and getting a picture financed and made, but that’s not the case. At 73 years-old, the titan of American filmmaking still has to prove his projects are fiscally responsible investments, and when it comes to his long-gestating dream project “Silence,” it’s easy to see why some executives might not be ready to hand over their cash. A movie we’re (prematurely) predicting to be a contender for the 2017 Oscars in the Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor fields, the adaptation of Shüsaku Endō’s novel starring Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, and Adam Driver, is set in the 17th century and follows two 17th-century Jesuit priests who face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and spread the gospel of Christianity. In short, no superheroes, no special effects, no four-quadrant appeal. So how did Scorsese finally manage to get it made? He took a pay cut, along with everyone else.
“It was very, very expensive, and it was budgeted, because it takes place in 1670 in Japan. We got lucky and found out about Taipei, and in and around Taipei and Taiwan, we found great, great locations. The prices were very cheap, and we were able to make it for a price,” producer Irwin Winkler told THR about how the movie finally was able to go into production. “And all the actors, Liam Neeson, Adam Driver, everybody worked for scale. Marty worked for scale, I worked for under scale. [Laughs] We gave back money.”
“…we all really decided, we’re gonna put all the money into the picture, so nobody got paid. So that’s how we got that made,” he added.
Currently in post, Scorsese and (99.9% guaranteed) Thelma Schoonmaker are editing the picture, and Winkler says the movie will “come out at the end of the year.” So get ready, awards season.