Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson and Adam Driver led an A-list cast list

The first trailer for Martin Scorsese‘s latest film, Silence, has been released.

Based upon a 1966 novel of the same name by Japanese author Shūsaku Endō, Silence follows two Portuguese Jesuit priests (played by Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) in the 17th century who suffer a crisis of faith when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor (Liam Neeson).

The film, which will be released in the US on December 23 (a UK date has yet to be confirmed, but is not expected to be released until 2017), apparently had its script completed back in 1996. Silence will open with a grand premiere in Vatican City in a month’s time.

Watch the trailer for Silence below.

Silence Official Trailer (2016) – Paramount Pictures

Watch the official trailer for Martin Scorsese’s new movie Silence. Starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Liam Neeson, see it in theatres December. Martin Scorsese’s SILENCE tells the story of two Christian missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) – at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden.

Although set in Japan, much of the filming was completed in Taiwan last year.

Asked in 2013 about finally getting the chance to direct Silence, Scorsese elaborated on why the project was so important to him.

“My initial interests in life were very strongly formed by what I took seriously at that time, and 45-50 years ago I was steeped in the Roman Catholic religion,” he told Deadline. “As you get older, ideas go and come. Questions, answers, loss of the answer again and more questions, and this is what really interests me. Yes, the Cinema and the people in my life and my family are most important, but ultimately as you get older, there’s got to be more. Much, much more. The very nature of secularism right now is really fascinating to me, but at the same time do you wipe away what could be more enriching in your life, which is an appreciation or some sort of search for that which is spiritual and transcends? That’s one of the reasons why I made the George Harrison documentary.

“Silence is just something that I’m drawn to in that way. It’s been an obsession, it has to be done and now is the time to do it. It’s a strong, wonderful true story, a thriller in a way, but it deals with those questions.”