Put aside its Oscar chances, and let’s forget about how it will impact the awards season race or not — simply the arrival of Martin Scorsese‘s “Silence” this fall is a major cinematic event. A passion project that the director has been shepherding along for years, whether or not it would be released at all in 2016 seemed up in the air until Paramount Pictures locked down a date last month. However, it looks like it won’t quite be the epic three hour sprawl that was rumored a couple months back.

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According to producer Irwin Winkler (who also says that “Silence” is “Marty’s best movie”), the film now runs 2 hours and 39 minutes. Indeed, the film has gradually been getting more trim, with Deadline revealing as recently as a few weeks ago that the movie was running slightly over three hours, and star Andrew Garfield saw a cut that was 2 hours and 50 minutes. Whether or not Scorsese will be further cutting the movie remains to be seen, and while some fans might leap to a conclusion that the director’s movie is getting ruined somehow, let’s just wait until we actually see the final version. And let’s also be clear — a running time has little bearing on craft, and sometimes a great story is better told in two hours than four.

Based on Shüsaku Endō’s novel, and also starring Liam Neeson, and Adam Driver, the drama is set in the 17th century and follows a pair of Jesuit priests who face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and spread the gospel of Christianity. You’ll see for yourself what Scorsese has put together when “Silence” opens on December 23rd in limited release, before going wide in January.

  • joshben

    “the drama is set in the 17th century and follows a pair of Jesuit priests who face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and spread the gospel of Christianity.”

    The true purpose that Portuguese made trade with Japan was Christian propagation and slave trade. Portugal and Spanish Jesuits were slave traders. They have already developed slave trade business largely in Philippines, Macao, Singapore and Indonesia. Do you know Netherlands did similar colonial rule in Indonesia?
    In Japan, Christian Daimyo was seduced by Westerner propagator and burnt down temples and executed many priests and Buddhists.

    Shusaku Endo wrote “Silence” as a story of persecuted Japanese Christians and Portuguese Jesuit. Now, Vatican praise this book highly. But, when one guy who came over to Japan as a mission from Vatican knew the side business of Jesuit, he sent letters of protest to the Shogun and the Pope in those days.
    If Endo wrote about the anti-Buddhist movement by Christian Daimyo in “Silence”, would Martin Scorsese made it into a movie?

    • David

      Well, he made a movie about Tibetan monks being persecuted….

  • daveymorrison

    I get the impression that any edits that have been made have been a normal part of Scorsese’s process. The book is not long, nor was the screenplay, so a two and a half hour running time seems much more likely given the material. There’s been no word that Paramount has asked for a shorter cut–they seem to have picked the movie up knowing it was going to be a prestige and maybe even an art house picture. We’re not getting word of the studio back and forth we heard about on Wolf of Wall Street or Gangs of New York as Scorsese worked to bring the cut in line with at least slightly more mainstream theatrical needs. Scorsese said they’d be scoring the film in October, so it makes sense we’d be getting a more accurate running time now than a couple months back when it was probably still in an early draft.

  • Jon White

    i just hope this is not as long in the tooth as Kundun was, that movie put me to sleep ,,,i was the only one in the theater watching it also

    • mdell27

      I took my grandmother to see Kundun and she slept through the entire thing.

      • D Isaacs

        I loved Kundun. It’s an art film. They’re slow. Some people don’t like art films.

  • Ribelin2000

    OK, so where’s the trailer for this movie? I hope to God there’s one in front of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Paramount needs to stop jerking us around here.

  • [A]

    No one should care about a new Scorsese movie’s runtime.

  • Binky Huckaback

    ‘The Mission’