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Benicio Del Toro, Dav Patel, Daniel Day Lewis

George Pimentel/Getty Images, Jason Kempin/Getty Images, Dan MacMedan/Getty Images

The sounds of this Silence involve some of Hollywood's heaviest hitters.

Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio Del Toro are in talks to star in Martin Scorsese's drama about the violent persecution of 17th century Jesuit missionaries in Japan.

Per Variety, Gael Garcia Bernal is also eyeing a role in Silence.

The film marks the third collaboration between Scorsese and Day-Lewis. The duo previously worked together on The Age of Innocence and Gangs of New York.

Scorsese just wrapped the thriller Shutter Island, starring another of his favorite actors, Leonardo DiCaprio, and is also working on a documentary on the late George Harrison. Silence is slated to start shooting later this year in New Zealand.

Meanwhile in other casting news, Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel has landed a plum role in M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender.

The live-action version of the Emmy Award-winning Nickelodeon cartoon series Avatar: The Last Airbender focuses on an epic battle between the elemental races of Air and Fire.

Patel will take over the part of Zucko, a member of the Fire Nation originally set to be played by singer-actor Jesse McCartney. McCartney had to drop out because his touring schedule conflicted with Shyamalan's martial-arts boot camp.

Airbender also stars newcomers Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone and Jessica Jade Andres. The original show was a big hit among fans and critics, running for three seasons on Nick before concluding with a two-hour TV movie last July.

Cameras roll in March on location in Greenland. The film is slated for a July 2, 2010 release.