Daniel Day-Lewis, Benicio Del Toro to star

Martin Scorsese is determined to make “Silence” his next movie. The helmer and Graham King’s GK Films are negotiating with Oscar winners Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio Del Toro to star. Gael Garcia Bernal is also circling the film, expected to begin production later this year in New Zealand.

The drama is set in the 17th century as two Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and to spread the gospel of Christianity.

“Silence” is based on the Shusaku Endo novel, which was adapted by Jay Cocks. Scorsese has had the project on his radar for more than a decade.

King will produce with Gianni Nunnari and Barbara DeFina.

The film would be Day-Lewis’ third with Scorsese following “Gangs of New York” and “The Age of Innocence.” Day-Lewis has completed the Rob Marshall-directed musical “Nine.”

“Silence” would mark the first collaboration for Scorsese and Del Toro, who most recently starred in the Steven Soderbergh-directed “Che” and next stars as the title character in “The Wolf Man.” Garcia Bernal, best known for “Babel” and “Y tu mama tambien,” is in early talks.

There is currently no domestic distributor for the pic. King is financing the film himself, as he did on “Edge of Darkness,” the William Monahan-scripted and Martin Campbell-directed drama that stars Mel Gibson.

Scorsese and King have worked together on “The Departed,” “The Aviator” and “Gangs of New York.”

Scorsese most recently completed an adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel “Shutter Island” for Paramount with Leonardo DiCaprio starring.

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