Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Irwin Winkler, And Randall Emmett Talk About Silence
A passion project of Scorsese, the film is an adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel of the same name and languished in development hell for some 30 years. It was only this year that the director was able to finally bring the historical fiction drama:
Take us back to the early beginnings of this passion project
Emma Tillinger Koskoff: Silence went through many financiers over the years, changing hands with many legal melees. Vittorio Cecchi Gori was an early investor. We went through many different budget levels and it wasn’t going to get made unless the budget made sense. Marty got to a place where he said, “Look, tell me how much money I have, and I’ll make it for that price.” Graham King had it for a long time and spent a lot of money on it. He settled for a very fair price with us to buy the rights back.
Irwin Winkler: I was visiting Marty on the London set of Hugo and asked him what happened to Silence, that adaptation he was working on with Jay Cocks. He said, “I still have it, why don’t we make it together?” The principals including myself, Emma, Marty, and the actors—we all had to defer our fees upfront. It was the only way we could proceed.
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