Before Silence makes its world premiere at the Vatican on Thursday, pic’s director Martin Scorsese will have a private audience with Pope Francis tomorrow morning at 8:45AM Rome time before the pontiff has his regular weekly general audience. The news was announced by the Vatican press office today.
Pope Francis and Scorsese are expected to discuss Silence, and the mission of the Jesuits, which is the priestly order Francis belongs to.
There’s a couple of screenings of Silence being held in Rome. The screening before 400 Jesuits is occurring now per a Paramount rep, while the Vatican VIP screening for 50 guests is happening on Nov. 30.
When the news broke about Silence playing the Vatican, it was uncertain whether Pope Francis would be in attendance. The Vatican has a history of tubthumping faith-based movies with Pope John Paul giving the thumbs up to Mel Gibson’s 2003 Passion of the Christ after a private screening. Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken from two years ago was the last Hollywood movie to book a Vatican screening given his faith-based elements. Pope Francis did not attend the screening, but he met with Jolie following the event.
Silence, a long-time passion project of Scorsese’s, is based on Japanese writer Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel about the persecution of Jesuits in 17th-century Japan, portrayed by Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Liam Neeson. Silence debuts on Dec. 23 stateside and on Jan. 12 in Italy.