Variety is reporting The Force Awakens and Ex Machina star Oscar Isaac has inked a deal to join The Kidnapping Of Edgardo Montara, where he will be starring opposite Mark Rylance of The BFG.
From Giant Country to a pulsing Italian thriller, it’s understood Rylance will reteam with Steven Spielberg on the project, itself a big-screen rendition of David Kertzer’s eponymous novel. Pulling from his regular pool of talent, Spielberg’s adaptation will be penned by Tony Kushner, who worked with the illustrious director across both Lincoln and Munich.
When it comes to Oscar Isaac’s casting, Variety didn’t disclose which role the actor has landed, but it is refreshing that Isaac is pursuing intriguing projects – Edgardo Montara, not to mention Alex Garland’s Annihilation – as a tonic to the blockbuster fare of the Star Wars universe.
First published in ’97, The Kidnapping Of Edgardo Montara recounts the story of a young Jewish boy who, after being plucked from his home, is raised Catholic and goes on to become a priest.
Here’s a synopsis pulled from Kertzer’s book:
Bologna: nightfall, June 1858. A knock sounds at the door of the Jewish merchant Momolo Mortara. Two officers of the Inquisition bust inside and seize Mortara’s six-year-old son, Edgardo. As the boy is wrenched from his father’s arms, his mother collapses. The reason for his abduction: the boy had been secretly “baptized” by a family servant. According to papal law, the child is therefore a Catholic who can be taken from his family and delivered to a special monastery where his conversion will be completed.
With this terrifying scene, prize-winning historian David I. Kertzer begins the true story of how one boy’s kidnapping became a pivotal event in the collapse of the Vatican as a secular power. The book evokes the anguish of a modest merchant’s family, the rhythms of daily life in a Jewish ghetto, and also explores, through the revolutionary campaigns of Mazzini and Garibaldi and such personages as Napoleon III, the emergence of Italy as a modern national state. Moving and informative, the Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara reads as both a historical thriller and an authoritative analysis of how a single human tragedy changed the course of history.
The Kidnapping Of Edgardo Montara is yet to pin down a release window, though Variety notes plans are in place for Spielberg to fire up production upon wrapping up work on Ready Player One early next year.