Martin Scorsese Says 2016 Release Of 'Silence' "Depends On Paramount"

We might be in the final weeks of summer, but even if movie studio executives are enjoying a few weeks on some sandy beach, they are also looking at the last four months of the year and figuring out what awards-season moves they’ll be making. It’s a bit of an odd science, and it’s not always about a film being finished in time. It’s an alchemy of guessing whether or not the picture will play for critics and industry types, what commercial prospects it has, and what else is available on the slate. So it means that movies like Martin Scorsese‘s “Silence,” long expected to be released this fall, remain undated.

“It depends on Paramount,” the director recently told Showbiz 411 about a 2016 release for his movie, which he says should be done somewhere around October.

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Based on Shüsaku Endō’s novel, and starring Andrew Garfield, 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. For a certain audience (i.e. us), that sounds awesome, but it’s not exactly “Goodfellas” or “The Wolf Of Wall Street.”

And as I mentioned, there are multiple factors Paramount is looking at. First, they currently have three prestige projects coming in the months ahead already: Denis Villeneuve‘s “Arrival” (opening on November 11th); Robert Zemeckis‘ “Allied” (opening on November 23rd); and Denzel Washington‘s latest directorial effort, “Fences,” opening on Christmas Day. And then there’s the fact that Andrew Garfield is already pushing a possible awards-season movie with Mel Gibson‘s “Hacksaw Ridge” (though it wouldn’t be the first time an actor had more than one movie in the mix).

My guess is that Paramount is playing a bit of wait-and-see. If one of those three doesn’t land in the way they need it to for Oscar play, maybe they push it to 2017 and slot “Silence.” Or maybe they decide the three movies already dated for this fall is enough and bump it to next year.

So we’ll see. Awards season is an odd kind of chess game, but let’s hope “Silence” gets on the board.