Martin Scorsese's 'Silence' Reportedly Over 3 Hours Long

Right now, Paramount‘s bounty of awards season options could be posing a problem for Martin Scorsese. The studio has three high-profile projects due to drop before the end of the year — Denis Villeneuve‘s “Arrival,” Robert Zemeckis‘ “Allied,” and Denzel Washington‘s “Fences” — which leaves the director’s upcoming “Silence” as a bit of a question mark. The picture, which is due to be finished early this fall, doesn’t have a release date, and Scorsese recently said he was more or less waiting for the studio to come a decision. And they’ll reportedly have an epic picture to consider.

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Variety reporter Kris Tapley recently tweeted that “Silence” currently has a runtime of 195 minutes long. Wow. 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. In short, it’s not an easy sell, and will be more difficult if that running time stays as it is, which Tapley seems to suggest it will. Could that be why Paramount are shy about pulling the trigger?

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In its current incarnation, “Silence” would mark Scorsese’s longest feature film to date (the documentary “George Harrison: Living in the Material World” is his lengthiest project ever), and one wonders if the director and studio might wrangle over the running time. It’s worth remembering that Scorsese’s original final cut of “Gangs Of New York” was even longer — 3 hours and 36 minutes — before Harvey Weinstein managed to get him to shave an hour off the film.

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At any rate, Paramount has a big movie — in more ways than one — on their hands. Fingers crossed we get to see it soon.