Vatican Refutes Claim of Pope’s Big Movie Debut


The other day, this blog (click here for that) and a host of entertainment sites and publications reported on a press release from AMBI Pictures, stating:

His Holiness Pope Francis portrays himself in the inspirational story based on the Gospels, told in several tales with Jesus’s message, so children can learn and incorporate Jesus’s parables.

The idea for the feature film emanated from Pope Francis asking the filmmakers to do a movie for children that communicates Jesus’s message.

Pope Francis is willing to participate in the movie to support charity as all profits from “Beyond the Sun” will be donated to two selected charities – El Almendro and Los Hogares de Cristo (located in Argentina) which support Pope Francis’ social and spiritual message within the film. These organizations help aid at-risk children and young adults in need.

It turns out that this bold claim is a bit less than it looks like — and it may just be a case of good old Hollywood hype.

From a report yesterday at Vatican Radio:

(Vatican Radio) The Prefect of the recently established Secretariat for Communications, Monsignor Dario Edoardo Viganò, has refuted press reports claiming Pope Francis “will play himself” in an upcoming film.

The film production company ENVI Pictures issued a statement on Monday saying Pope Francis will appear in the film “Beyond the Sun.”

“The Pope is not an actor,” Msgr. Viganò said.

He added that no scenes for the movie were filmed “for purpose,” although he does not exclude “as has happened before, video clips of the Pope  could appear in the film.”

Any profits from the film are being used to support two Argentinian charities for children.

So, it looks like the pope will be in the movie, but he’s just not doing anything special for them.

Ah, well, that’s showbiz!

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Visit the Family Theater Productions homepage and Facebook page to learn more about how FTP is reaching out to Hollywood and producing its own projects.