It's always assumed that any new Martin Scorsese film will be in contention for the Academy Awards. That's simply because they're often tremendously crafted and incredibly entertaining, which is why there is a huge amount of anticipation for Martin Scorsese's latest, Silence. Clearly Paramount feel the same way, too, because they've lined up Silence for a December 23, 2016, release date, just in time for it to have a run at the Oscars.

Silence

The Hollywood Reporter have confirmed that Silence will have a limited release on this date before it's then expanded nationwide in January. The studio will be hoping that a tidal wave of good reviews for Silence will see its box office continue to churn over in the lead up to the Academy Awards, which is taking place on February 26, 2017.

Based on Shusaky Endo's 1966 novel of the same name, Silence follows two Jesuit Portuguese Catholic priests that travel to Japan in the 17th century to find their mentor and help to spread the teachings of Christianity, all while they face violent persecution from those in the area.

Silence has been a passion project of Martin Scorsese's for a while. In fact, he's been developing Silence for around 25 years with Daniel Day-Lewis, Benicio del Toro and Gael Garcia Bernal previously in line to star in the film. However, after its production went into hiatus, and Scorsese decided to work on Shutter Island and Hugo instead, there were concerns that it would never actually materialize.

Fortunately by April 2013, it was announced that production would finally begin on Silence, and by January 2014, Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson and Ciaran Hinds had been cast. Production didn't begin on Silence until January, 2015, though, and it went through until May 2015, meaning that Martin Scorsese and his editor Thelma Schoonmaker will have been trying to put Silence in the exact right order for 19 months by the time of its release.

Still, the Academy loves it when a filmmaker goes above and beyond to create their masterpiece, while Silence's running time of 195 minutes means that it promises to be quite an epic, arduous, yet hopefully rewarding, experience. That's something that the Academy also adores, all of which points to Silence being well and truly in the race when the Oscar nominations are announced at the start of next year.

We can expect Martin Scorsese to be one of the main contenders in the Best Director field, and he'll be hoping that he can add a younger brother to the Best Director gong that he picked up for The Wolf Of Wall Street back in 2014. Plus, Jay Cocks will almost certainly be in contention for the Best Adapted Screenplay accolade, a nomination he picked up for 1993's The Age Of Innocence, which was also directed by Scorsese, while he also received a Best Original Screenplay nomination for 2002's Gangs Of New York, too. Which, again, was directed by Marty.

At the same time, Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield will likely be in contention for the Best Actor Oscar, with the latter already in Oscar discussions because of his turn in Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge, while Liam Neeson will already be eyeing up a Best Supporting Actor nomination, too. We'll get to see if Silence is worthy of such Oscar talk when it's finally released on December 23.

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