Oscar Isaac Might Star in Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner’s Upcoming 19th Century Religion Drama


According to the Hollywood Reporter, Oscar Isaac, who is becoming a legend, is in talks to join forces with Steven Spielberg, who is a veteran legend, for a starring role in the upcoming film, The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, which is incidentally adapted by playwriting legend Tony Kusher. He’d be acting opposite theatre legend Mark Rylance, who also, thanks to Spielberg, recently became a film giant.

The film is called The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, and is based on the David Kertzer book (a National Book Award finalist for nonfiction) about the story of a Jewish six-year-old boy in Italy in 1858, who was taken by the Papal State from his family (the Inquisition justified the kidnapping through a servant’s claim that she’d given the boy an emergency baptism when he was a baby — which under papal law meant you could seize a child from their family for conversion). He was raised Catholic by Pope Pius IX (who Rylance will be playing), and ultimately became a priest. The book also explores how the kidnapping ultimately was a factor leading to the Vatican’s crumbling secular reign.

THR says that Spielberg has been planning this thing since 2008, and it’ll likely begin filming in 2017, upon the director’s completion of Ready Player One. The role Isaac would play has not yet been disclosed. (A grown up Mortara? Mortara’s father? Pope Dameron?)