US film director Martin Scorsese left Taipei on Wednesday after concluding an eight-day trip to scout locations for his new movie, Silence.
The Chinese-language Apple Daily reported yesterday that Scorsese and his film crew arrived from Japan on Wednesday last week and visited Taipei, Greater Taichung and Hualien in their search for potential film locations.
Taipei Film Commission director Jennifer Jao (饒紫娟) confirmed the media report.
“It is true that the film will be shot in Taiwan,” she said. “He 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 set.
The Apple Daily reported that shooting will begin in July or August.
“We hope that the film will be shot entirely in Taiwan,” Jao said, adding that the commission will provide crew, some cast members, film equipment, transportation services and media assistance to Scorsese and his team during filming.
According to media reports, actors signed up to be in the film include Liam Neeson (Taken), Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man), Ken Watanabe (Inception) and Adam Driver (J Edgar and Lincoln).
The 71-year-old director and his crew apparently went undiscovered as they scouted locations until a customer at a Japanese restaurant in Hualien recognized the director on Tuesday, the Apple Daily said.
Scorsese flew to Taipei from Tokyo, where he had been with The Wolf of Wall Street stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill to promote the film’s Japanese premiere.
Scorsese reportedly chose Taiwan to shoot his new film because of recommendations from two-time Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (李安).
The project will be the first major Hollywood production in this country since French director Luc Besson’s shooting of his action thriller Lucy in October last year created a frenzy in the local media.
Silence is an adaptation of Japanese author 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.