Martin Scorsese to meet Pope Francis ahead of Vatican screening of Silence

Ben Skipper
Contributor
Martin Scorsese and Pope Francis. (Credit: WENN)

Martin Scorsese will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday (20 November) morning to discuss his latest film, a religious epic starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Liam Neeson.

Awards season contender ‘Silence’ will premiere at the Vatican tonight, ahead of the legendary director’s audience with the popular pontiff. It’s not clear if Francis will be in attendance at the second, more private screening taking place on Thursday.

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The meeting was announced by the Vatican’s press office, via Deadline.

Set in the seventeenth century, the film follows two Jesuit priests (Garfield and Driver) who travel to Japan to discover the whereabouts of their mentor (Neeson) who has publicly denounced his faith under mysterious circumstances.

‘Silence’ will be the first film to be given the Vatican’s blessing since Angelina Jolie’s awards season hopeful ‘Unbreakable’ two years ago. Hopefully the endorsement helps Scorsese’s film fair a little better than that did.

Most famously, the Vatican approved Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ’ in 2004, when the Pope was John Paul II.

A passion project of the ‘Taxi Driver’ and ‘Goodfellas’ director for many years, ‘Silence’ had been shrouded in secrecy until a dramatic first trailer (embedded below) was released in November – alongside news of the Vatican screenings.

‘Silence’ was written by Scorsese alongside ‘Gangs of New York’ collaborator Jay Cocks, who hasn’t penned a screenplay since the 2004 Oscar contender for which they were both nominated.

This is the Oscar-winning director’s first film since ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ in 2013 – which was, to put it mildly, a very different kind of film.

‘Silence’ will be released in the UK on 1 January 2017.