Martin Scorsese is at the Cannes Film Festival to raise money for his next film, Silence. It's based on Shusaku Endo's 1966 book of the same name. Scorsese said it's a passion project he's been working on since he first read the book in 1989. The script is written by his Gangs of New York screenwriter, Jay Cocks and he plans to shoot it in 2014. According to the press release, "Silence deals with two Jesuit priests who face violence and persecution when they leave New York to head for Japan in order to spread Christianity." It is set in the 17th century and will star Andrew Garfield.

It goes back to growing up in New York, living in an area that was pretty tough, and also the church at the same time. It's similar to Mean Streets, in a way. It deals with spiritual matters in a concrete, physical world; a world where invariably the worst of human nature is revealed...[It's a] suspenseful film, with elements of a combines that with themes that were overt in Kundun and Bringing Out The Dead.

Scorsese is also busy developing Gangs of New York as a TV series, another period piece. GONY was also adapted from a book of the same name written by Herbert Asbury. Scorsese had always envisioned this story to be an American epic and will now get to see it more fully realized.

This time and era of America's history and heritage is rich with characters and stories that we could not fully explore in a two hour film. A television series allows us the time and creative freedom to bring this colorful world to life. I am excited to partner with Miramax in telling these stories.

The busy filmmaker has several other projects in the works including, The Wolf of Wall Street out later this year, starring his recent go-to actor Gangs and Aviator star, Leonardo DiCaprio. Oscar buzz is already in the air for this one. Did Scorsese finally direct a Leo Oscar-winning performance?

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via Total Film