Steven Spielberg to Tackle 'The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara' as Next Film

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Steven Spielberg

Mark Rylance is set to star and Tony Kushner, who worked on 'Lincoln' and 'Munich,' wrote the script.

Steven Spielberg will tackle his long-gestating religious period drama The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara after he wraps Ready Player One, setting Bridge of Spies Oscar winner Mark Rylance to star in the Amblin Entertainment project.

Tony Kushner, who worked on Spielberg’s Lincoln and Munich, wrote the script adapting the David Kertzer novel, which has been in development with the filmmaker since 2008.

The true story centers on a 6-year-old Jewish boy in Bologna, Italy, in 1858 who was seized by the police and removed from his parents' home. He was aubsequently raised as a Catholic and became a priest in the Augustinian order. Rylance will star as Pope Pius IX.

Spielberg, Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger, who produced Bridge of Spies, will produce Mortara.

The plan is for Spielberg to tackle the project after he wraps Player One, his sci-fi tentpole for Warner Bros.

Sources say the filmmaker is looking to shoot in early 2017 and turn the pic around in time for a release during awards season.