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Pope Francis to appear in film inspired by the Gospels

Pope Francis meets actor Leonardo Di Caprio during a private audience at the Vatican (L'Osservatore Romano/AP)

Pope Francis is reportedly set to appear in a new film inspired by the Gospels.

The family adventure film, entitled Beyond the Sun, is being produced by AMBI Pictures and the company announced on Monday that the Pontiff has agreed to appear briefly as himself, CruxNow has reported.

The film will reportedly be based on the Gospels in accordance with the Pope’s suggestion to filmmakers that they find an imaginative way to tell the story of Jesus to children.

Andrea Iervolino, co-founder of AMBI, said in a statement: “Our excitement and gratitude toward His Holiness, Pope Francis [for] participating in this film is beyond words. This is not just a movie for us, it’s a message, and who better to have on your side to deliver an important societal and spiritual message than the Pope.”

However, Mgr Dario Edoardo Viganò, the prefect of the recently established Secretariat for Communications, said Francis would not film any scenes for the movie.

“The Pope is not an actor,” Mgr Viganò said, but added that “video clips of the Pope  could appear in the film.”

If Pope Francis does appear in Beyond the Sun, he will follow in the footsteps of one of predecessors. In 1958, Pius XII appeared as himself in Embezzled Heaven, about a cook who carries out merciful acts in the hope of reaching heaven.