The Common Good

Antonio Banderas May Be Cast as Pope Francis in Biopic

Spanish heartthrob Antonio Banderas may be cast in the role of Pope Francis in the first feature film to be made on the life of the Argentine pontiff.

Antonio Banderas at a news conference during the 62nd Berlin Film Festival on Feb. 15, 2012. Photo:cinemafestival / Shutterstock

Related Reading

Take Action on This Issue

Circle of Protection for a Moral Budget

A pledge by church leaders from diverse theological and political beliefs who have come together to form a Circle of Protection around programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world.

Italian director Daniele Luchetti plans to make the $12 million Spanish language film, titled “Call Me Francesco,” with producer Pietro Valsecchi, who has made some of Italy’s highest-grossing movies.

Valsecchi’s Rome-based production house, Taodue Film, confirmed the news Wednesday, and a spokeswoman said the company was looking to shoot the film in various locations, including Argentina and Italy.

Banderas is one of the top Spanish-speaking actors being considered to play the lead role, she told Religion News Service.

The film is based on the best-selling book “Francisco: El Papa de la gente” (or “Francis: The people’s pope”) by Evangelina Himitian, a journalist with the Buenos Aires newspaper La Nacion.

Casting is still being finalized but pre-production is well underway, the company spokeswoman said.

Shooting is expected to begin this summer. Taodue declined to speculate on whether the film would be completed and ready for release on Dec. 17, the pope’s 78th birthday.

Last week, 53-year-old Banderas, a native Spanish speaker like the pope, said in an interview he was proud of what Hispanic actors had achieved in Hollywood. When he arrived in the U.S., he said, he was told he should expect to play a “villain all my life” because “blacks and Hispanics” were usually cast as the bad guys.

While Francis has generated worldwide interest and a slew of documentaries since his election, so far no feature films have been produced about his life.

Italian director Paolo Sorrentino this year announced plans to create a TV series featuring a fictional American pope, and Hollywood director Ridley Scott recently filmed the pilot for a TV series (since scrapped) titled “The Vatican.” The pilot starred Bruno Ganz as a modern-day Pope Sixtus VI.

Josephine McKenna writes for Religion News Service. Via RNS.

Image: Antonio Banderas attends a news conference during the 62nd Berlin Film Festival on Feb. 15, 2012, in Berlin, Germany. Courtesy of cinemafestival via Shutterstock

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories

Resources

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)