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. When they arrive, they find the local Christian population driven underground by religious persecution.
Neeson will play a priest who landed in Japan over a decade ago and has gone missing.
Variety reported last year that Garfield had signed to star in Scorsese’s long-gestating adaptation of Japanese novelist Shusaku Endo’s book, regarded as his masterpiece.
The film is produced by Irwin Winkler, Randall Emmett and George Furla and Emma Tillinger Koskoff.
Jay Cocks has written the adaptation of “Silence,” first published in 1966.
Paramount released Scorsese’s three most recent films — “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Hugo” and “Shutter Island.” It has not set a release date for “Silence.”
News about the Paramount talks was first reported by Deadline.com.