The casting call for Martin Scorsese’s Silence‘s leading male must have read: Seeking male. Any male, really. Just… a guy. We can’t imagine anything more specific would have applied to Daniel Day-Lewis, Benicio del Toro, and Andrew Garfield alike. According to Variety, Marty’s long gestating passion project (an adaptation of a Shusake Endo novel about Catholicism) has branded the Amazing Spider-Man hero with the central role… a role formerly applied to Day-Lewis and del Toro. Why, exactly, either of these choices never panned out is one question. The other question: just how malleable is this character that 29-year-old Garfield can stand in seamlessly for the much older Day-Lewis, and the much larger del Toro?
The novel, set in 1600s Japan, follows Portuguese Jesuit Sebastião Rodrigues in his experiences with religious persecution and lapses of faith. We’ve seen del Toro handle more than his share of weighty roles, and there’s no question about Day-Lewis’ gravitas. But is Garfield really up for such a task as Scorsese’s sweeping religious drama? And one that will be primarily in Japanese?
For those who think that Garfield might only work in roles of action and suspense, Scorsese’s description of the project might quell your worries: “It’s a thriller, meaning they are undercover,” he says to Variety. “I’m interested in this, whether it’s undercover priests or undercover cops.” Or undercover Spider-Men, apparently.
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