Pope Francis to Make Cameo Appearance in Faith-Based Film “Beyond the Sun”

Pope Francis is ready for his close-up…

The 79-year-old Argentine pontiff, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is set to appear in the family adventure film Beyond The Sun from AMBI Pictures.

Pope Francis

It’s the first time in cinematic history that the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church will play himself in a big screen feature.

The casting came about after the pope asked the filmmakers to make a movie for children that communicates the message of Jesus.

All profits from the faith-based film will be donated to two charities, El Almendro and Los Hogares de Cristo, which help aid at-risk children and young adults in need, and are located in the Pope Francis’ home country.

The inspirational story of Beyond The Sun is based on the Gospels and told in several tales. It will focus on children from different cultures who emulate the apostles while searching for Jesus in the world around them. The filmmakers say it is intended to “spiritually engage and encourage audiences of all ages to transmit Jesus’ words, to understand them and integrate them to live a better life, make good choices and help others.”

Graciela Rodriguez wrote the screenplay. The producers are currently out to directors.

“Our excitement and gratitude toward His Holiness, Pope Francis 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… This movie will provide funds to support extremely worthwhile causes that we take very seriously. This message and cause are very dear to the entire AMBI family and we are honored and inspired by the level of collaboration from the Vatican,” says AMBI Group co-founders Andrea Iervolino.

Principal photography is slated to begin in early 2016 in Italy.

Trailer Released for Orrantia’s New Film “God’s Not Dead 2”

Hayley Orrantia’s career’s not dead… It’s booming.

A new trailer has been released for the sequel to God’s Not Dead, the faith-based film starring the 21-year-old Mexican-American actress/singer.

Hayley Orrantia

The original film, released last year, earned more than $60 million on a budget of $2 million.

God’s Not Dead 2 stars Melissa Joan Hart as a school teacher who ends up in a lawsuit for answering a student’s question about the similarities between Jesus’ teachings to those of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi.

In addition to Orrantia and Hart, the film also stars Ernie HudsonJesse Metcalfe, PureFlix CEO David A.R. White, Sadie RobertsonRobin GivensMaria Canals-Barrera and the late Fred Thompson in one of his final film appearances star alongside cameos by Pat Boone and Ray Wise.

It will be released on April 1, 2016.

Pascal In Talks to Star in “Ben Hur” Remake

Pedro Pascal may soon star in a massive remake…

The 39-year-old Chilean actor is in talks to portray Pontius Pilate in the remake of the 1959 epic historial drama Ben Hur, which earned 11 Academy Awards.

Pedro Pascal

The film, which will be directed by Timur Bekmambetov, centers on the blood feud between Judah Ben-Hur (Huston) and Messala (Kebbell), who grew up best friends before the Roman Empire took control of Jerusalem. Ben-Hur was a Jewish prince and Messala the son of a Roman tax collector. After the latter leaves to be educated in Rome for five years, the young man returns with a different attitude and mocks Judah and his religion. When a procession passes by Judah’s house and a roof tile accidentally falls and hits the governor, Messala betrays his childhood friend and manipulates the accident so that Judah is sold into slavery and certain death on a Roman warship, with his mother and sister thrown in prison for life. Judah vows revenge, culminating in the famed chariot races.

Pontius Pilate, best known for presiding over the trial of Jesus Christ and ordering his crucifixion, plays a significant role in this version of Ben-Hur, which hews closer to the 1880 Lew Wallace novel and its parallel storyline to Jesus than did the 1959 William Wyler-directed film.

The script is by Keith Clarke and 12 Years A Slave’s John Ridley did the rewrite.

Should he join the cast, Pascal will join Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Morgan Freeman and Gal Gadot in the film.

Production begins early next year in Europe for February 26, 2016 release.

Leto Wins His First-Ever Independent Spirit Award for “Dallas Buyers Club”

Jared Leto has the spirit (award)…

The 42-year-old part-Spanish American actor/singer picked up the first Independent Spirit Award of his career on Saturday, winning the Best Supporting Actor prize for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club.

Jared Leto

In what’s being called as one of the most memorable acceptance speeches of all time, Leto thanked just about everyone when he claimed his prize, including Justin Bieber and his “future ex-wife Lupita Nyong’o .

Wayne Gretsky, Baby Jesus, River Phoenix, Kurt Cobain, as well as “all the women I’ve been with and all the women who think they’ve been with me” were also on his list of thanks.

It’s the latest award for Leto, who earned an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of a male-to-female transgender character addicted to drugs and dying of AIDS in the Jean-Marc Vallee-directed film.

Leto has previously claimed his first-ever SAG Award from the Screen Actors Guild in January,

He also won his first-ever Golden Globe and a Critics’ Choice Movie Award for the role.