Steven Spielberg Will Next Direct an Adaptation of The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara

Spielberg. Photo: Ian Gavan/2013 Getty Images

Steven Spielberg has signed on for another historical drama, as Deadline reports the helmer will hop behind the camera for The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara. He'll direct from a Tony Kushner script, adapted from Pulitzer Prize–winner David Kertzer's 1997 book of the same name. The story involves the real 1858 kidnapping of a 6-year-old Italian boy who was secretly baptized and, in accordance with papal law of the time, taken from his Jewish family to a monastery for full Catholic conversion. This Spielberg pic will put Bridge of Spies' Mark Rylance on the other end of seizure as Pope Pius IX, the ruler of the Papal States whose refusal to return Mortara sparked international controversy and ultimately underscored problems with the pontiff's secular power. Drama.