British Oscar winner Mark Rylance will play a pope in a new Stephen Spielberg film, according to reports.
It follows the pair’s collaboration for Bridge Of Spies, the Cold War espionage thriller for which Rylance was honoured at the Academy Awards.
The upcoming project, titled The Kidnapping Of Edgardo Mortara, tells the true story of a young Jewish boy who in the mid-19th Century was forcibly taken from his Italian parents to be raised a Christian.
The ensuing struggle pitted the Catholic Church against modernising forces in Italy at the time and became a cause celebre that attracted attention from across the Western world.
The 56-year-old is understood to be poised to play Pope Pius IX. Spielberg is expected to begin filming in early 2017.
Picture: Mark Rylance with the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the press room of the 88th Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, USA. (Ian West/PA Wire).