Liam Neeson is to play a Jesuit missionary in his next major production.

The veteran actor will begin filming next month in Martin Scorsese's 'Silence,' which is described as the epic story of Jesuit missionaries who risked persecution to spread the Gospel to Buddhists in Japan in the 17th Century.

County Antrim-born Neeson, 62, will play Jesuit Father Ferreira and star alongside 'Amazing Spider Man' actor Andrew Garfield, according to Catholic news website

The website reports that the project is due to start filming next month "after several years of delays and litigation."

Scorsese, who had an Italian Catholic upbringing, caused controversy with his 1988 drama 'The Last Temptation of Christ,' which depicted the crucified Christ imagining another, easier life in which he'd married Mary Magdalene, who had borne his children.

Neeson, who's more noted for his action hero roles in recent years in movies like 'Taken,' was confirmed last week as Ireland's box office king, having starred in films that have raked in over $5bn at the box office worldwide.