Steven Spielberg Reteaming With Mark Rylance for ‘The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara’

     April 12, 2016


After Mark Rylance’s Oscar-winning performance in Bridge of Spies and his turn as the title character in The BFG, the actor will reunite with Steven Spielberg for one of the director’s upcoming films, The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara.

Deadline was the first to report the news, and states Pope Pius IX in a film based on the book from 1997 of the same name by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Kertzer. As pointed out by Entertainment Weekly, Spielberg has been eyeing the project since around 2008 when DreamWorks book exec Lisa Hamilton acquired the rights. The story focuses on a young Jewish boy from 1858 Bologna, Italy, who is forced away from his family to be raised Christian after he was secretly baptized. The parents’ fight to get their son back becomes a larger war against the Papacy. Tony Kushner, who wrote the screenplay for Spielberg’s Lincoln, is adapting the script.

This film likely won’t come until after the director’s long-gestating Ready Player One, which cast X-Men: Apocalypse star Tye Sheridan in the leading role earlier this year. If The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara comes directly after this project, it would likely push development on Indiana Jones 5. Disney announced the next sequel in the Harrison Ford-led franchise would reunite the actor, filmmaker, and Crystal Skull screenwriter David Koepp. The film is scheduled for release on July 19, 2019, which gives Spielberg enough time to fulfill these three projects on his wish list.

Rylance won the statuette for Best Supporting Actor for his scene-stealing role of Rudolf Abel, convicted by the U.S. for spying for the Russians during the Cold War, in Bridge of Spies. The actor is continuing his post-win streak of gigs with Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, which also features Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, and One Direction’s Harry Styles.


Image via DreamWorks/Fox2000

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