Director Martin Scorsese’s passion project Silence is finally moving forward. Back in January, Scorsese confirmed that the adaptation of the Shusaku Endo novel would be his next project after completing The Wolf of Wall Street, and he was hoping to start production in mid-2014. Now, after numerous delays, Deadline reports that financing for Silence has been secured by Emmett/Furla Films, which means that this thing is actually, finally, for real happening. Written by Scorsese and Jay Cocks, the story takes place in the 17th century and follows a group of missionaries sent to Japan in order to investigate the reported torturing of Christians by the country’s emperor.
Scorsese has been trying to get Silence made for 15 years, and at one point Danie Day-Lewis and Benicio del Toro were attached to star. The plan now is for filming to begin in Taiwan in July 2014, depending on the cast. I’d really love to see Silence make it in front of cameras, so hopefully things go smoothly this time. The Wolf of Wall Street opens later this year, but Scorsese will likely be busy with an awards campaign for the Leonardo DiCaprio starrer through early 2014.
Hot off the box office success of the “Liam Neeson kills everyone” sequel Taken 2, director Olivier Megaton is looking to stick to the action genre for his next feature. Per Deadline, Megaton will next direct the $60 million action thriller Taking Gotham for Emmett/Furla Films. Written by Thomas Kelly, the pic is based on a true story and centers on “a secret unit of the NYPD that was created in response to a string of brutal robberies in New York City. After a deadly sting operation, the elite unit is disavowed by the NYPD, forcing them to go deep underground in order to clear their names.” So it’s like Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, but set in New York and presumably much more “gritty.”
Megaton previously helmed the actioners Transporter 3 and Colombiana before landing the Taken 2 gig, and despite scathing reviews the Neeson-fronted sequel grossed over $350 million worldwide against a budget of just $45 million. As such, Megaton likely didn’t have to look hard to find his next project. Casting on Taking Gotham is set to begin immediately ahead of a March 2013 production start-date.
Hollywood’s obsession with odd adaptations continues. Next on the chopping block are Hasbro products Monopoly, Action Man and Hungry Hungry Hippos. (This news makes my suggestions to adapt Gargoyles, The Pirates of Dark Water, Jonny Quest and Centurions seem much less far-fetched.) The family-friendly board game featuring Rich Uncle Pennybags is up first, thanks to an agreement between Hasbro and independent finance/production company Emmett/Furla Films. Production on Monopoly is scheduled for a production start in 2013. Hit the jump for more on the joint production’s adaptation plans.
Nicolas Cage is set to star in the action thriller I Am Wrath for Emmett/Furla Films. Deadline reports that Cage will reteam with the company after previously working together on the serial killer thriller The Frozen Ground with John Cusack and Vanessa Hudgens. I Am Wrath centers on a man who turns vigilante after he uncovers a thick plot of police corruption following the murder of his wife. He sets out to serve justice on his own and “destroy those who abuse their power.” It’s a premise in which Cage could really be set loose, and making things even sweeter is the fact that The French Connection and The Exorcist helmer William Friedkin is circling the director’s chair.
Production is scheduled to get underway in February with a script by Paul Sloan, so Friedkin will have to make a final decision soon. He most recently directed the polarizing drama Killer Joe with Matthew McConaughey, which ruffled quite a few feathers with its NC-17 rating. Cage recently signed on to star in David Gordon Green’s (Pineapple Express) southern drama Joe.