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Scorsese scouts for 'Silence' film in discreet Taiwan visit (update)

2014/02/06 19:38:26

Photo from http://hypesphere.com/?p=15139

Taipei, Feb. 6 (CNA) American director Martin Scorsese left Wednesday after concluding a discreet eight-day trip to scout filming locations for his new movie "Silence."

The Chinese-language Apple Daily reported Thursday that Scorsese and his film crew arrived in Taiwan from Japan on Jan. 29 and visited Taipei in the north, Taichung in central Taiwan and Hualien in the east to search for potential film locations.

Jennifer Jao, director of the Taipei Film Commission, which will assist Scorsese's team in the making of the film, confirmed the report when contacted by CNA Thursday.

"It is true that the film will be shot in Taiwan," Jao said. "He (Scorsese) likes Taiwan very much."

She said the Oscar-winning director would be back for filming in the "second half" of the year but the exact dates were not yet set.

Apple Daily reported that shooting will begin in July or August.

"We hope that the film will be shot entirely in Taiwan," Jao said.

She added that her commission will provide local crew and cast members, film equipment, transportation services and media assistance to the director and his team during their stay in Taiwan.

The film will feature top actors including Liam Neeson ("Taken"), Andrew Garfield ("The Amazing Spider-Man"), Ken Watanabe ("Inception") and Adam Driver ("J Edgar," "Lincoln"), according to various media reports.

Scorsese and his crew apparently went undiscovered as they scouted locations until a customer at a Japanese restaurant in Hualien recognized the world-famous director Feb. 4, according to the Apple Daily report.

Photos released by the newspaper showed Scorsese wearing a suit and his signature glasses and reading what appears to be a menu.

Prior to Taiwan, Scorsese had been in Japan with "The Wolf of Wall Street" stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill to promote the film's Japanese premiere.

Scorsese, 71, is said to have chosen Taiwan to shoot his new film because of recommendations by two-time Oscar-winning director Ang Lee, who grew up in Taiwan.

The filming will be the first major Hollywood production in Taiwan since French director Luc Besson's shooting of his action thriller "Lucy" in October last year, which stirred up a media frenzy.

"Silence" is an adaptation of late Japanese writer Shusaku Endo's 1966 novel of the same name. It is about the persecution of two Jesuit priests who traveled to Japan in the 17th century to find their mentor and spread Christianity.

(By Christie Chen)
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