Argentina's cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, elected Pope

Italian director Daniele Luchetti is set to shoot “Call Me Francesco,” a $12 million Spanish-language biopic being touted as the first Pope Francis feature film that will hit global screens.

Luchetti, a regular at Cannes, most recently with “Our Life” in the 2010 competish, is scheduled to start shooting “Francesco” in Argentina early this summer. Producer Piero Valsecchi is aiming to release the film in Italy on the pope’s 78th birthday, Dec. 17, or in January at the latest. Shooting will also take place in Italy and Germany.

Casting is still being finalized, Rome-based Valsecchi said, adding that Francis will be played by two well-known Spanish-speaking actors, one in his 30s and one in his 60s.

The film is based on the bestselling book “Francisco. El Papa de la gente” by Evangelina Himitian, a journalist with Buenos Aires newspaper La Nacion. Valsecchi is producing the “Pope Francis” pic via his TaoDue shingle.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more