3-Plus Hour Runtime Reported for Martin Scorsese’s ‘Silence’

By August 21, 2016

It’s been quite awhile since we’ve heard anything about Silence, director Martin Scorsese’s follow-up to 2013’s critically acclaimed Wolf of Wall Street. The film, based on the novel by Shūsaku Endō, follows a pair of Jesuit priests in the 17th century as the travel to Japan on a quest to locate their mentor and spread the message of Christianity. Silence was originally rumored to premiere at Cannes before getting a theatrical release this fall – but the festival came and went without a word about the film, and Paramount Pictures has yet to set a release date.

As it turns out, Paramount’s hesitancy to add Silence to its release calendar may hinge on two key components. First of all, the studio is already positioning three of its offerings for awards season campaigns this year: Denis Villeneuve’s science-fiction drama Arrival, the WWII spy romance Allied from Robert Zemeckis, and Fences, which will mark Denzel Washington’s return to the director’s chair after nearly a decade-long absence. That’s a pretty crowded slate, and attempting to squeeze Scorsese’s latest into the mix could divert resources away from the other projects.

But the other mitigating factor could prove to be the film’s running time, which The Playlist is reporting to be a whopping 195 minutes. This would make Silence the longest feature film ever directed by Scorsese – topping The Wolf of Wall Street by 15 minutes – and convincing audiences to sit through such an epic could prove to be a challenge. Not to mention the impact this could have on the film’s box office prospects, as a running time longer than three hours would put a limit on how many times the film could be screened in a single day.

Scorsese is expected to have the picture completely locked by October, which doesn’t necessarily rule out a 2016 release date, and it’s possible he might trim the running time down to something a bit more palatable – as The Playlist mentions, his original cut of Gangs of New York clocked in at 3 hours and 36 minutes, before he was convinced by Harvey Weinsten to cut nearly an hour of footage. Paramount is probably taking a “wait and see” approach at this point, and hopefully we’ll know a bit more about a potential release date for Silence in the coming weeks.

As always, you can stay tuned to GeekNation.com for updates.

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Brent Hankins

Brent Hankins

Contributing Writer at GeekNation
Brent Hankins is a member of the Phoenix Critics Circle and co-host of the Drinks and Discourse podcast. He's also the proud owner of an Italian Greyhound named Sullivan. He's adorable (the dog, not the author).
  • John Ikarus

    Jesuit priests in the 17th century as they travel to Japan on a quest spread the message of Christianity.
    Holy snoozefest Batman.
    I would rather sit through a second showing of Batman vs Superman