EXCLUSIVE: Steven Spielberg has found his next film. He’ll direct for Amblin Entertainment The Kidnapping Of Edgardo Mortara, an adaptation of the the book by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Kertzer that Tony Kushner has adapted. Mark Rylance, who won the Best Supporting Oscar for Spielberg’s Bridge Of Spies and who plays the title character in Spielberg’s The BFG, will star as Pope Pius IX. The Bridge Of Spies producing team of Spielberg, Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger will produce this. Production will begin in early 2017 for release in the fourth quarter of that year.

Published in 1997, The Kidnapping Of Edgardo Mortara recounts the story of a young Jewish boy in Bologna, Italy in 1858 who, having been secretly baptized, is forcibly taken from his family to be raised as a Christian. His parents’ struggle to free their son becomes part of a larger political battle that pits the Papacy against forces of democracy and Italian unification.