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Anthony Hopkins to play Pope

- The actor is said to be about to sign on to play the role in Damien O'Donnell's Edgardo Mortara

From Hannibal to the Holy Father. Anthony Hopkins is said to be about to sign on to play Pope Pius XI in Damien O'Donnell's Edgardo Mortara. Produced by Britain's Film Four with money from Miramax and Germany's Senator Films, Edgardo Mortara is set in 1858 and the true story of a 6-year-old Jewish boy who was kidnapped by the agents of the Holy Inquisition because a well-meaning Catholic servant baptised the child into the Catholic faith. Despite the appeals of Austria's Emperor Franz-Joseph and France's Napoleon III, the boy was adopted by Pope Pius and his father, played by Oscar-winning Spanish actor, Javier Bardem, engaged a long and bitter fight with the Holy See to get his child back.

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