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Martin Scorsese to meet with Pope Francis after screening 'Silence'

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Kerry Brown

Martin Scorsese is headed to the Vatican.

The Oscar-winning director is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis on Wednesday morning, after screening his newest film Silence at the Pontifical Oriental Institute for the Jesuits. According to the Associated Press, Francis will meet with Scorsese in a private audience in the Apostolic Palace before receiving the general public.

Scorsese is set to premiere Silence at the Vatican on Tuesday, screening the film for about 400 priests and guests. Adapted from a 1966 novel by Shusaku Endo, Silence stars Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver as two Jesuit missionaries who travel to Japan in the 17th century, hoping to track down their missing mentor (played by Liam Neeson). There, they face serious religious persecution and torture, as Christianity was banned at the time.

It’s a project that Scorsese has worked on for years, and the director has talked before about how he became fascinated with Endo’s novel after reading it in 1989, shortly after the premiere of The Last Temptation of Christ. Francis also has a tie to the subject matter, and he has spoken about how as a young man, he had hoped to become a Jesuit missionary in Japan.

This isn’t the first time Francis has met with a Hollywood star after a high-profile screening. In January 2015, Angelina Jolie had an audience with the Pope after screening her World War II film Unbroken at the Vatican.

Silence will open in limited release on Dec. 23 before going wide in January.

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