John Goodman rejoins 'Pope Joan'

Soenke Wortmann's medieval epic to shoot next month

BERLIN -- John Goodman has rejoined the cast of Sonke Wortmann's medieval epic "Pope Joan," taking on the role of Pope Sergius in the adaptation of Donna W. Cross' best-seller.

Goodman will be joined by David Wenham ("300"), who plays Gerold, the lover of the titular female pontiff.

Goodman was among the first actors cast for "Joan" but dropped out to take a supporting role in "Speed Racer."

Producers Constantin Film sued Goodman in April 2007 for breach of contract but continued to negotiate with the actor in the hopes he would rejoin the project, a strategy that seems to have worked. Both sides have agreed to decline comment on the suit.

The project has been plagued by production headaches, with original star Franka Potente replaced by Johanna Wokalek in the lead role and Constantin firing first-choice director Volker Schlondorff in favor of Wortmann.

With cast and crew finally in place, "Pope" is set to begin shooting next month in Germany and Morocco for a 2009 release.