ROME – Pietro valsecchi, the producer of popular comedies from Checco Zalone, says his next project will be an English-language TV movie based on the life of Pope Francis.
Valsecchi’s Taodue Film production house is best known for supporting what are now the two all-time Italian films based on domestic box office revenue, two lowbrow comedies directed by Gennaro Nunziante and with Zalone, a musician and comedian: Sun in buckets (Sole a catinelle) and What a beautiful day (Che bella giornata) from 2011.
Zalone’s two hits brought in more than 50 million euros ($ 68 million) in domestic revenue, pushing Roberto BenigniOscar winner 1997 Life is beautiful (La vita e ‘bella) in third place on the all-time list.
In total, Taodue Film has made nearly 50 films over the past 20 years, and the company now has its sites on the New Pontiff: Valsecchi said in a TV interview that he was interested in having Antonio Banderas play the main role in the project. Banderas, who has not commented on the news, was born in Spain and is native Spanish speaker, like the Argentine-born pontiff.
Pope Francis, the elder Jorge Mario Bergoglio, has been Pope since March. Since then he has become a global phenomenon: he has helped increase church attendance and made Francis a more popular name for newborns, while his humble commentary on issues ranging from capitalism to homosexuality has him won praise. He would be the favorite to be named Personality of the Year by Time magazine.
But so far no major film has been shot on his life, although at least a dozen are said to be in some stage of production, including Ridley scott‘s The Vatican, who will be the star Bruno Ganz as unspecified pope.