Mark Rylance to Lead THE KIDNAPPING OF EDGARDO MORTARA Film; Tony Kushner Penning Script

Tony winner Mark Rylance is taking on The Pope.

The actor is re-teaming with Steven Spielberg for his upcoming film THE KIDNAPPING OF EDGARDO MORTARA, which will feature a script by Pulitzer- and Tony-winning playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner, Deadline writes.

Production will begin in early 2017.

David Kertzer's 1997 book 'EDGARDO MORTARA' tells the tale "of a young Jewish boy in Bologna, Italy in 1858 who, having been secretly baptized, is forcibly taken from his family to be raised as a Christian. His parents' struggle to free their son becomes part of a larger political battle that pits the Papacy against forces of democracy and Italian unification." Rylance will play Pope Pius IX.

Rylance won an Oscar this year for Spielberg's BRIDGE OF SPIES and will soon be seen in the director's adaptation of Roald Dahl's THE BFG. He is about to begin filming for Christopher Nolan's DUNKIRK. He also recently appeared on the small screen in the WOLF HALL mini-series.

The actor recently starred off-Broadway in his play NICE FISH and counts TWELFTH NIGHT, RICHARD III, JERUSALEM, LA BETE and BOEING-BOEING among his Broadway credits.

Kushner is also working on the script for Spielberg's READY PLAYER ONE, Denzel Washington's upcoming big-screen adaptation of FENCES, and the film version of the memoir HE WANTED THE MOON. He is best known for his two-part epic, ANGELS IN AMERICA, and his screenplay for Spielberg's LINCOLN was nominated for an Oscar.

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