Martin Scorsese ‘Silence’: Ken Watanabe Out, Tadanobu Asano Takes His Place

Jan 13, 2015 12:56 PM EST | By Victoria Guerra

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One of the most iconic directors in the past four decades, for Martin Scorsese "Silence" has been a passion project going on for years, ultimately halted by matters of money and schedule - and even as it's scheduled to begin shooting soon, problems continue to arise.

The upcoming Martin Scorsese "Silence" has been in the making for more than 20 years (since 1991), and the director has been forced to halt it due to different reasons, making a few great movies in the meantime and even winning an Academy Award for his 2006 remake "The Departed."

According to Cinema Blend, the shooting dates for Martin Scorsese's "Silence" finally have a time and place, early in 2015, but the film continues to go through some rough patches as the dates draw nearer: recently, the Academy Award-nominated Japanese actor Ken Watanabe, who was to play one of the movie's main roles, had to pull out of the project over a scheduling conflict with the Broadway revival of "The King And I," where he's set to star.

However, according to Deadline, things will end up going smoothly for Martin Scorsese's "Silence," as they have already found a replacement for the actor: Tadanobu Asano, also Japanese and known for his role in the "Thor" movies as well as starring in "Mongol," is set to play Watanabe's part.

Scorsese's passion project is set to also star "The Amazing Spider-Man" actor Andrew Garfield, indie it boy Adam Driver and "Schindler's List" star Liam Neeson, in a film adaptation of Shusaku Endo's novel.

As reported by AV Club, the film will be set in 17th century Japan, as two Jesuit priests (Driver and Garfield) travel to the Asian country to look into claims that their mentor (played by Neeson) has renounced his faith (an act known as apostasy). Asano would be playing the interpreter to the two monks.

Hopefully, Martin Scorsese's "Silence" will find no more bumps in the way, and audiences can expect to watch another truly great film from the director of movies like "Taxi Driver" and "Gangs of New York."

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