Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson has come on board Martin Scorsese’s historical drama “Silence” opposite Andrew Garfield and Ken Watanabe.

Production is expected to start in Taiwan later this year. “Silence” is financed by Emmett/Furla/Oasis, Corsan and A1.

The film is produced by Irwin Winkler, Randall Emmett and George Furla, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Checchi Gori, Barbara DeFina and Paul Breuls, with Niels Juul exec producing.

Variety reported last May that Garfield had signed to star in Scorsese’s long-gestating adaptation of Japanese novelist Shusaku Endo’s novel. Garfield will star as Father Rodrigues, a 17th-century Portuguese Jesuit who travels to Japan with a fellow priest amid rumors that Rodrigues’ mentor has abandoned the Church.

Neeson will play a priest who landed in Japan over a decade ago and has gone missing.

Jay Cocks has written the adaptation of “Silence,” first published in 1966.

In a separate development, Scorsese has reached a settlement in a lawsuit filed last year by Cecchi Gori Pictures against him. The suit alleged Scorsese had breached an agreement to direct “Silence” as his next movie by choosing to direct “The Wolf of Wall Street” instead.

Neeson is scheduled to reprise his role in “Taken 3″ and will be seen in Universal’s “Non-Stop,” which opens Feb. 28. He’s repped by CAA.

The Neeson news was first reported by Deadline.com.

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