EXCLUSIVE: Liam Neeson will star with Andrew Garfield and Ken Watanabe in Silence, the Martin Scorsese-directed adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s novel about 17th century Jesuits who to try bring Christianity to isolated Japan. The film is being financed by Emmett/Furla/Oasis, Corsan and A1. Emmett/Furla/Oasis just funded Lone Survivor. The script is by Jay Cocks and Scorsese and production will begin in Taiwan later this year.
Related: Martin Scorsese Tests Out Script For Mob Drama ‘The Irishman’, But ‘Silence’ Is His Next Pic
Neeson is scheduled to reprise in Taken 3, but while Neeson has remade himself as an action star, Silence brings him back to the kind of work he did in Schindler’s List and in the Scorsese-directed Gangs Of New York. The film is produced by Irwin Winkler, Randall Emmett and George Furla, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Checchi Gori, Barbara DeFina and Paul Breuls, with Niels Juul exec producing. Neeson, who next stars in the action film Non-Stop, voices a role in The Lego Movie, and stars in the Seth MacFarlane-directed A Million Ways To Die In The West and A Walk Among The Tombstones, is repped by CAA.
Related: Martin Scorsese Settles ‘Silence’ Suit
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More than a year and a half after Martin Scorsese was sued by producer Cecchi Gori for not directing Silence, the two sides have worked out a deal. “The matter has been settled in its entirety,” said a 1-page order from LA Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis. The January 17 order (read it here) offered no details of the settlement. On August 22, 2012, Gori Pictures went after Scorsese and his Sikelia Productions for breach of written contract for allegedly constantly pushing back his commitment to direct an adaptation of Shusako Endo’s novel about Portuguese Jesuit missionaries who travel Japan to investigate reports of Christians persecuted and tortured by the Emperor of Japan. Claiming that they had invested more than $750,000 in the project, Cecchi Gori wanted millions in producer fees plus credits and 20% of Scorsese/Sikelia’s backend participation on “each feature film that Scorsese should direct after Hugo and before Silence (including without limitation Wolf of Wall Street),” said their complaint. In response, the director said the “meritless action” suit had “all the earmarks of a media stunt.” The two sides kept grinding away and after various filings put a stop on the court clock to work on a settlement.
Related: Liam Neeson To Star In Martin Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ Read More »
Doing something he says he has never done in his entire career, director Martin Scorsese has come to Cannes to personally sell a film to foreign buyers. But it is not just any film but rather a passion … Read More »
CANNES: Below I’ve compiled this year’s list of what Cannes films are most often being mentioned by potential buyers. But already there’s been a bit of action in the marketplace, with Warner Bros acquiring domestic on the Ryan Gosling-directed How To Catch A Monster. Sellers feel a good appetite for deal-making is in the air. “This has been the busiest month we’ve had going into a Cannes Film Festival. The frenetic activity has never been this intense,” said Roeg Sutherland, who runs CAA’s independent film operation with Micah Green. “It’s not that a lot of new companies are jumping in like they did last year. But we’re seeing those companies coming back here with good slates, which is the healthiest thing for everybody.” I can tell you that sellers this year are cautiously optimistic this Cannes market will be closer to 2011′s when sales were made on the basis of sizzle reels. (Harvey Weinstein made a big bet on The Iron Lady after watching seven minutes of Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, and John Hillcoat’s Lawless and Rian Johnson’s Looper sold on the basis of preview reels as well.) Not even rain in the forecast for the next couple of days can depress the upbreat attitudes here. After all, at last Cannes, the sellers market on the Croisette belonged to the umbrella salesman getting 40 Euros a pop in a nonstop torrential downpour that put a figurative damper on the entire market. We all known you cannot measure the success of Cannes the way you can Toronto and Sundance. If buyers don’t buy, sellers are in trouble. Here, a chance conversation with a high net worth individual can make the whole Cannes experience worthwhile. This is a festival of intangibles, and players have to make the time to hustle at the Hotel Du Cap where the billionaire investors roam and the movie stars are stashed until they have to come to the Croisette for premieres. That’s as glitzy as it gets here, but sellers and buyers tell me they do most of their business over a drink at the Carlton and Majestic Hotels, and to a lesser degree the Martinez. Agents especially have “how I won the war” Cannes stories of unexpected encounters that turned into game-changing deals.
Related: Hammond: Festival Kicks Off With Most Anticipated Slate In Years
“Beyond the competition and the exposure that is so good for the careers of your clients, it is an important place to create a moment that leads to films getting financed,” said UTA’s Rich Klubeck. “Two years ago, we met with the guys at Studio Canal who’d said they missed being in business with Joel and Ethan Coen. We had another meeting in New York and they wrote the check for Inside Llewyn Davis, which premieres here. It could not have been a better situation. They have proven to be perfect partners.” That deal allowed the Coens and producer Scott Rudin to shoot the 1960s folk movie without pressure to find early domestic distribution. The picture went to CBS Films after the filmmakers showed the finished product to a crowd of buyers. “We got to take our time, hear the marketing plans offered by each distributor, and pick the perfect situation,” Klubeck told me. “This is a good place where a lot of stuff happens.” Read More »
Martin Scorsese has his Jesuit. Andrew Garfield will play the lead role of Father Rodrigues in the director’s upcoming Silence. Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr first broke the news of the project on April 19. Variety first reported … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Martin Scorsese will finally realize his long-held dream to direct Silence, an adaptation of the Shusaku Endo novel about 17th century Jesuits who risk their lives to bring Christianity to Japan. Financing for the film has been secured by Emmett/Furla Films and Paul Breuls and his Corsan Films. The plan is to shoot in Taiwan in July 2014, depending on cast, from a script by Jay Cocks and Scorsese.
I’m told that things are moving fast on this and that they are all making plans for Scorsese to come to Cannes and launch the picture. Talks are underway with Graham King for his ownership stake in the script. Numerous sales companies have been vying to handle foreign rights, but that task will fall to Len Blavatnik and Stuart Ford, who’ll jointly handle foreign on the film for Emmett/Furla through their respective Axis Films and IM Global.
The film will be produced by Irwin Winkler, Emmett and Furla, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Checchi Gori, and Barbara DeFina, with Niels Juul exec producing. Scorsese will jump into the film after he completes The Wolf Of Wall Street.
Scorsese has wanted to make Silence since 1991. He has gotten close numerous times, with actors like Daniel Day-Lewis, Benicio Del Toro and Gael Garcia Bernal among those mentioned over the years. But the pic has always gotten pushed, and there was even a lawsuit over how long it all took. Even that didn’t dampen Scorsese’s passion. It is not the easiest or most commercial project, but when a master like Scorsese is so passionate about a movie that it sticks with him more than 20 years, he’s going to find a way to make it, and now he has. He’s repped by WME and Rick Yorn. This is another big step for Emmett/Furla, which has films upcoming that include the Peter Berg-directed Lone Survivor and the Denzel Washington-Mark Wahlberg-starrer 2 Guns. Getting in business with Scorsese is a prestige play, and with the reticence of major studios to take big chances on proven filmmakers, it shows the opportunity for an indie company with backing and balls. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: For my part, Martin Scorsese can’t make enough movies. But he’s trying. Scorsese, who is completing The Wolf Of Wall Street with Leonardo DiCaprio, just held a reading of Steve Zaillian’s script at the Tribeca Film Center for … Read More »
BREAKING: Martin Scorsese has fired back at Cecchi Gori Pictures after the company sued him for not directing Silence, the long gestating adaptation of the Shusako Endo novel. Cecchi Gori filed sued suit in Los Angeles Superior Court … Read More »
You can read the lawsuit here. Cecchi Gori Pictures and Cecchi Gori USA filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court today against director Martin Scorsese and his production company Sikelia Productions. Cecchi Gori says it invested more than … Read More »