It’s official: Steven Spielberg and Mark Rylance are having a bromance. The respected British actor took home an Oscar for his first effort with Spielberg, “Bridge Of Spies,” he has the title role in the director’s summer blockbuster “The BFG,” and the pair have now found yet another movie to work on together.
Deadline reports that Rylance will star in the adaptation of David Kertzer‘s book “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara.” Spielberg first became attached to direct the project two years ago, with Tony Kushner (“Lincoln,” “Munich“) writing the 1858-set story about a young Jewish boy who is taken from his home, raised Catholic, and becomes a priest. Rylance will play Pope Pius IX. Here’s the full book synopsis from Amazon:
Bologna: nightfall, June 1858. A knock sounds at the door of the Jewish merchant Momolo Mortara. Two officers of the Inquisition bust inside and seize Mortara’s six-year-old son, Edgardo. As the boy is wrenched from his father’s arms, his mother collapses. The reason for his abduction: the boy had been secretly “baptized” by a family servant. According to papal law, the child is therefore a Catholic who can be taken from his family and delivered to a special monastery where his conversion will be completed.
With this terrifying scene, prize-winning historian David I. Kertzer begins the true story of how one boy’s kidnapping became a pivotal event in the collapse of the Vatican as a secular power. The book evokes the anguish of a modest merchant’s family, the rhythms of daily life in a Jewish ghetto, and also explores, through the revolutionary campaigns of Mazzini and Garibaldi and such personages as Napoleon III, the emergence of Italy as a modern national state. Moving and informative, the Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara reads as both a historical thriller and an authoritative analysis of how a single human tragedy changed the course of history.
This will be Spielberg’s next project, and his complicated calendar is looking something like this: he’ll shoot “Ready Player One” next for release on March 30, 2018. After that movie wraps, he’ll shoot ‘Mortara’ in early 2017 for release the same year (can you say Oscars?), and after that, he’ll jump to “Indiana Jones 5” which will hit cinemas on July 19, 2019. Whatever Spielberg is putting in his morning coffee, we’d like some.