×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Scott Thomas to topline Vatican-set thriller

Laurent Herbiet to direct $11.3 million pic

PARIS — Kristin Scott Thomas, Andre Dussollier and Sergi Lopez will star in helmer Laurent Herbiet’s “Vatican, le Christ habite chez les Borgia” (Vatican, Christ Lives With the Borgias), exploring the hidden world of the Holy See.

The €9 million ($11.3 million) political thriller is set up at Paris-based Loull Prods., the outfit recently launched by Xavier Castano, who produced Jean-Jacques Annaud’s last three pics. Conchita Airoldi of Italy’s Urania Pictures is collaborating on the film.

It’s co-penned by French investigative journo Michel Desprats, Nathalie Hertzberg, Herbiet and Christian Roux, in collaboration with Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, author of “His Holiness” and “Vatican SpA,” who’s at the heart of the “Vatileaks” scandal.

Herbiet’s fact-based film will shed light on the power struggle and alleged money laundering within the Holy See, as well as Pope Benedict’s relationship with his ambitious personal secretary.

Scott Thomas will star as the mother of Cedric Tornay, a 23-year-old Swiss guard who

was found dead next to Alois Estermann, who had just been appointed Commander of the Swiss Guard, and Estermann’s wife in 1998.

Tornay was accused of the double murder before committing suicide. Scott Thomas’ character — who’s “as resourceful and tenacious as Erin Brockovich” according to Castano — is convinced of her son’s innocence and leads her own probe within the Vatican.

Castano told Variety he envisioned the film as a sprawling, eye-opening political thriller in the vein of Costa-Gavras’ “Z” or Michael Mann’s “The Insider.”

“We’ve been doing extensive research for three years to make the script stick to reality as much as possible,” said Castano, adding he even sent Desprats and Hertzberg to Rome where they interviewed local guards, journalists and judges.

The producer is casting a high-profile Italian thesp for one of the lead roles and is in advanced negotiation with a French outfit, which will handle distribution in Gaul and international sales.

Pic will mostly lense in the French language and will start shooting next June, in Switzerland and Rome.

More Film

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content